24.9°C 03:00 pm

Station closure "morally corrupt"

Thursday, 21st January, 2010

* The NSW Fire Brigade Employees Union says closing fire stations is dangerous and stupid. * The NSW Fire Brigade Employees Union says closing fire stations is dangerous and stupid.

The union representing NSW fire fighters has taken a swipe at the state's brigade after a recent run of closures at the South Fire Station.

The station was put off line last week for 17 hours over three days because there were not enough volunteer fire fighters.

The NSW Fire Brigades Employees Union said the closure of the station was risky. Spokesman Tim Anderson said with Broken Hill so isolated the main back up station should never be closed.

"A decision to close a fire station in a locality such as broken Hill, being in an isolated area, is unacceptable and should not occur," Mr Anderson said. "When the South Station is closed down the only back up for the Central station is a tanker which is not designed for handling large property fires.

"If there was to be an incident with the South Station being closed that required a second pumping appliance that appliance and crew would have to come from either Wentworth or Cobar." NSW Fire Brigades acting superintendent Andrew Cozins said last week that despite the station shut, fire fighters could still attend fires, just not in a tanker.

"To expect fire fighters to attend an incident without a fire engine in their own vehicles is like expecting soldiers to go to war without weapons and instead of a tank just take your own car," he said.

But Mr Anderson ridiculed this suggestion.

"To expect fire fighters to attend an incident without a fire engine in their own vehicles is like expecting soldiers to go to war without weapons and instead of a tank just take your own car," he said.

"Who came up with this rubbish?

"Unfortunately the acting superintendent failed to mention in his statements relating to staffing of the South Fire Station that the station could have been staffed with the re-calling of off duty permanent officers or firefighters for the period of the shortage to maintain operational statutes." He also took a swipe at Mr Cozin's insistence that the union had agreed with the service to enforce the closures when necessary.

"The FBEU does not agree with closing fire stations but was forced by the Industrial Relations Commission to comply with Fire Brigade management's decision to close fire stations," Mr Anderson said. "It is a morally corrupt decision to close a fire station that is still required. "I hope that those that made the decision to close Broken Hill South are prepared to wear the consequences if the worst should happen."

Mr Anderson urged locals to make a stand."I strongly implore all residents of Broken Hill to contact their local member, the Premier of NSW and Commissioner of the NSWFB to ensure closing of fire stations is stopped," he said."The health and safety of the local community and firefighters should not be compromised for the sake of a few dollars."

© Copyright 2020 Barrier Daily Truth, All Rights Reserved. ABN: 38 684 603 658