Mid North Coast Fire and Rescue NSW Employees Support Fire Department Employees Union Concerns Over Offline Equipment Plan | The Macleay Argus


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The Fire Department Employees Union (FBEU) is sounding the alarm over a proposal by Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) that would see vital equipment taken offline at more than 30 locations, including some on the North Coast. NSW fire and rescue officers from local stations in Dorrigo, Nambucca Heads, Bowraville, Kempsey, Macksville, South West Rocks, Urunga, Port Macquarie, Taree, Gloucester, Laurieton, Wingham, Woolgoolga and several other locations along the coast signed an open letter protesting the action too. The “TOLing” would only be temporary, but FBEU shop steward and mid-north coast resident Daniel Finney said it could impact community safety in the area. “Under this new ordinance, they can take equipment offline for one hour, one day a week per month, this gives them the power to take it offline in the blink of an eye, and it could be done indefinitely. “, did he declare. “The introduction of this order will allow four trucks to be TOL’d in the Coffs area, leaving only two trucks available to respond to all emergencies in the Woolgoolga, Coffs Harbor and Sawtell fire districts; how is this safe? We live in one of the fastest growing areas of the Mid North Coast, we need all of our equipment to work, and online this move could end up costing lives and property, it doesn’t matter. sense. problem is money. Currently, fire stations without sufficient safe crew levels are supplemented by other firefighters at overtime rates. Without the additional crew to operate the equipment, the new ordinance proposes to take them offline instead. Acting Deputy Commissioner of Field Operations, Rob McNeil says TOL has been prevalent and implemented for many years. The Acting Deputy Commissioner argues that this practice is in part the result of changing demographics, technological improvements and a more modern understanding of fire safety and hazards. “Fire and Rescue NSW is not reducing service delivery to the NSW community. We are not closing fire stations,” he said. “The practice of temporarily taking fire trucks offline at some guard stations has been in place for over a decade and was introduced with the support of unions. “FRNSW fire trucks are part of a mobile network of resources that don’t stay parked at stations all the time. “All trucks have Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) to allow the nearest and most appropriate truck to respond. “Trucks will only be temporarily taken offline if it is safe to do so, and there are other trucks in the network that could respond quickly to an incident. However, in the open letter signed by firefighters and firefighters, they argue that the decision is made based on what works in big cities, rather than in areas where the environment is markedly different. “There is a distinct variation between metropolitan and regional areas in the available FRNSW resources ready to respond to emergencies,” part of the letter states. . “Part of the proposal is to allow only two firefighters to respond to an incident at an urban pump. “We cannot see a greater risk to the health and safety of professional firefighters than this. “We are united in our opposition to this proposal and call for this proposed new decree to be withdrawn from implementation.” In recent years, our emergency services have done more than show their value to the community, first during fires, floods and even during COVID. Mr Finney says if anyone in the community wants to help them fight the new order, now is the time for people to make their voices heard. “People have power in numbers, write your MP, contact the NSW government; we cannot let them do this,” he said. “Year round firefighters and rescue are busy, we protect 90 percent of the state’s population from emergencies involving fire, motor vehicle crashes and other dangerous situations.” We protect 100 percent of the state’s population against hazardous materials emergencies and building collapses. “No one knows when or where an emergency will occur; data modeling is not an accurate way to predict accidents in advance. The fire and rescue services need all of our equipment online and operational to ensure that we can respond to emergencies anytime, anywhere. “Our reporters work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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