Fire Safety Officers

The Fire Service’s reply to the Union’s letter of 14 January 2009 is reproduced herewith.

An accompanying memo on behalf of Paula Beever advises that the date for receipt of expressions of interest can only be extended to 6 February as that apparently is the cut-off date to provide the Finance Department with cost associated with training requirements.

The Union sees that Paula Beever’s reply only raises more questions than it answers. Some of these include:

  • The fifth paragraph is totally confusing.

Firstly, the Fire Risk Management Officer role is not a ranked role; but the role cannot be carried out unless rank is held. How can that be?

Secondly, the reference to “brevet rank” is very concerning. Brevet rank” is a term often used, but to the best of the Union’s knowledge, it is not formally provided for anywhere i.e. in any Fire Service Policy. Historically it has been used to describe a temporary promotion/acting-up e.g. an S.F.F. is given a brevet S.O. rank.

The Union sees no occasion when a so-called brevet rank has been given to someone off the street and holding no rank at all.

  • No answer is given to our question regarding CBA experience/expertise.
  • Seemingly the developmental plan they will produce for you will have nothing to do with your job as a Fire Risk Management Officer. Apparently it is some sort of “additional growth suggestion” and will “provide opportunities to grow skills in more general areas”. Possibly learning to play the violin or speaking Spanish. And the Fire Service has plenty of money to pay for this.
  • The response to the Union’s questions on specific Fire Safety training demonstrates that nothing has been done in this regard.

Any realistic conclusion – given that National Training has “other higher priorities” - is that specific additional Fire Safety training is many years away.

- Surely any personal developmental plan must include specific training related to the job you are actually doing.

The Union will pursue these points with the Fire Service and attempt to get proper answers.

Given that nothing at all is clear and definitive as to:

  • What is the real effect of a change from a Fire Safety role compared to a Fire Risk Management Officer role;
  • What is the purpose of the developmental plan; and
  • Nothing has been done regarding specific additional job training,
the Union’s strong recommendation to existing Fire Safety members is not to express any interest in a Fire Risk Management position until a satisfactory response from the Fire Service is received and members are so advised.

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