Cuts In Sprinklered Building Responses

Further to Newsletter No. 10 – 16 April.

A great deal of work has been done by the Union over the last few days to have the Union’s concerns addressed. This has included a number of discussions with Mike Hall.

It appears to the Union that, to say the least, local management have been over‐enthusiastic in their response to Mike Hall’s desire to rationalize the PDA to sprinklered buildings.

It is clear that local management have done no specific assessments on the appropriate PDA as required in the Sprinklered Building Risk Assessment Form (Form 2‐2a).

The consequence of this is significant errors regarding such things as:

  • Incorrectly including buildings only partly sprinklered;
  • No consideration of significant life risk;
  • No consideration of historical or cultural significance.

As well, the Union’s investigations have also uncovered significant faults in advising and recognising buildings with inoperative sprinklers.

Mike Hall has accepted that the concerns the Union has received have validity. Some immediate changes have been made to address some of the concerns.

However, the Union is told that the commencement of the reduced PDA had to proceed on 29 April because it was not possible at short notice to re‐programme the Comm. Centre systems regarding PDAs.

This is not satisfactory to the Union.

Consequently the Union advises Officers on 1st responding appliances to sprinklered buildings if a 2 pump response is created, to immediately upgrade the response to “Structural Fire” until further notice.

This will also allow local High Rise procedures to be complied with.

Mike Hall has advised he will instruct Area management to immediately review PDA to sprinklered buildings to ensure a proper recognition of the risks involved – i.e. as per the assessment form.

Further, Mike Hall has indicated he is happy to have local Union input into this process. However, amendments cannot apparently be made overnight although a small number of changes can be affected immediately.

Affected Locals have been advised accordingly.

Diesel Fumes Extraction Systems

The majority of Stations where members work have Diesel Fumes Extraction Systems. However, around 16 Stations do not – in Western, Arapawa, Transalpine and Southern Region.

Efforts have been made, particularly over the last 12 months both locally and nationally, to get management to put Extraction Systems into these remaining Stations. Action has included for the past few weeks of parking appliances outside.

It is most unfortunate and should have been unnecessary that such action was necessary.

It is well accepted internationally that diesel fumes are particularly dangerous as the evidence of their cancer causing potential is overwhelmingly proven.

The Union now has an assurance from the Fire Service that all these 16 Stations will have extraction systems installed within 4 months. Given the necessity for a tendering process, bringing the extraction systems into the country, and the installation process, the Union accepts this is as quick as the process can occur.

As a consequence, the Union has advised the Fire Service that appliances will be returned to parking in the Stations:

  • When front and rear doors are able to be automatically opened on receipt of a call; and
  • A “carbon block” is installed to mitigate the fumes being able to enter the Station `environment.

Affected Locals have been advised accordingly.

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