Relations between the ACT Rural Fire Service and the Emergency Services Agency have "definitely improved" almost 12 months from the Orroral Valley bushfire, the RFS's new head has said.
Despite tensions between the two organisations coming to a head during last summer's bushfire crisis, new chief officer Rohan Scott said the engagement of volunteer firefighters was the strongest it had been.
Mr Scott was announced as the new chief officer on Wednesday, following more than 20 years of service and had previously been the acting chief.
"[Relations] have definitely improved and it was never fractured in that regards, and we've invested time in volunteers and engaging communication with them," Mr Scott said.
"Part of [the reset between ESA and brigades] is our retention and looking at opportunities to better retain current firefighters, which has given us the opportunity at additional training," Mr Scott said.
A leaked review into Canberra's last fire season was told volunteer firefighters considered walking off the Orroral Valley fireground because they felt disrespected.
Volunteers had said they felt like "cannon fodder" and second-class citizens" during the emergency response.
The final ACT government report into the fire response said there was a serious problem with the treatment of volunteers and that it was wrong to trivialise the issue.
"Engaging in an 'accuse-to-excuse pattern of behaviour by Rohan Scott, who when RFS personnel were so concerned that they raised these issues publicly, stating that some RFS volunteers had bullied others, is not an appropriate manner in which to resolve the treatment of volunteers during the fire season," the report said.
Mr Scott said it was only a small minority of volunteers who had levelled complaints during the fire season and said that his appointment was welcomed by the RFS and ESA.
"The phone has not stopped today," he said.
"No organisation could have 100 per cent compliance, no matter what we do, but it's listening to those members and to those concerns and act where needed and looking for what's best for the service.
"My job is to meet my legislative requirements and keep membership happy and make sure we've got that capacity when the community does require us."
While there were many lessons that came out of the last bushfire season, Mr Scott said disclosure between the service and its 480-strong volunteer body could be improved.
"Definitely one of the biggest lessons is that early and honest communication," he said.
"It's closing that feedback loop and explaining why decisions are made and taking their comments onboard and implement them."
Following last year's bushfire season, the RFS saw an influx of new recruits with more than 300 on a waiting list.
Mr Scott said while this year's fire season might not have been as severe as the year before, he warned Canberrans to remain alert.
"We just ask the community to be well prepared," he said.