Aerial firefighting appliances save historic landmark

PHOTO CREDIT: Stuff

The Local notes, with sadness, the devastating fire that has occurred in one of Auckland’s historic buildings, the St Stephens Church located in Central Ponsonby.

As a result of the quick actions of our members and the early tactical decision to deploy the Aerial Appliances quickly and efficiently, that has prevented more serious damage to this historic landmark.

Without the rapid arrival of these specialist aerial firefighting trucks, the damage to the historic building would have been much more significant and, quite likely, a total loss.

The Local believes this should now put to bed any argument against the rapid and immediate response of these heavy Aerial Appliances to reports of fire in the Auckland Central Area.

For FENZ to continue to refuse to respond these important life and property-saving units to reports of fire via alarm activations, is a disservice to the public of Auckland and a serious risk to the safety and well-being of firefighters.

Fire Alarms are life-saving tools designed to give occupants early warning of fire, giving them a chance to escape a building and, in some circumstances, automatically notify Fire Brigade resources.  This incident has demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt the value and importance of having these vital firefighting tools dispatched at the earliest occurrence of notification of a potential outbreak of fire.

The Local advises its members to continue calling for the attendance of the heavy aerial to incidents where they believe the capabilities of the vehicle may be of service.

Further, the Local is also aware of the rumours circulating that those firefighters that do ignore the FENZ instruction and call for the attendance of said heavy aerials may face disciplinary action up to and including the loss of employment.

These rumours have been taken to the highest level of FENZ, with a request for explanation and justification.

The Local will keep members advised of this situation as this threat to members is further explored and clarified.

If any member has any questions, please contact one of your Station Cluster Representatives.

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