Newsletter No. 30 – 30 November 2010 advised members of a Ban on CFBT training until various issues of concern had been addressed and satisfactorily resolved.
The Committee has considered the Fire Service’s response to its concerns and can now advise that ‐The Ban on the use of CFBT is lifted.
The Union’s concerns included:
- Use of Low Emission Board – Achieved.
- All PPE to be laundered or replaced after each exposure – Achieved with additional PPE provided.
- No eating/drinking in contaminated PPE – Achieved.
- Ongoing health monitoring for Instructors – Achieved and in final developmental stage.
Funding of Fire Service - Earthquake/USAR Response Again Highlights How Wrong The Present System Is.
The Union has long held the position and advocated at every opportunity how wrong the present basis of the funding of the Fire Service is.
The majority of the work of the Fire Service – very clearly demonstrated recently again with the response to the Christchurch Earthquake – both USAR and general support sent to Christchurch – shows once again that funding the Fire Service solely by levy on fire insurance is wrong and inadequate.
Essentially the Fire Service provided this service and many others to the community for free.
It is ridiculous that the cost of the response to Christchurch and subsequently the USAR response to Japan – advised by Mike Hall at $8.5 million and $500,000 respectively – will result in cutting back spending on new Fire Stations and Appliances.
The Union suspects the costs will eventually be much higher and cuts to more than new Fire Stations & Appliances will be proposed.
The bizarre outcome of this funding stupidity must be a less effective Fire Service response the next time a response is required to a similar emergency to that in Christchurch.
Even with the current funding mechanism, avoidance is major, and the irony is that the government is the biggest offender or avoider. As Mike Hall noted, many schools and hospitals do not pay the levy. The Union says many other government agencies do not pay the levy either.