Members will be aware that FRM Butt has appointed Operational Planning Officer Cuthbert to the position of Acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer (Assistant Area Manager) in the Waitemata Fire Area (North Western Fire District).

The Auckland Local has written twice to FRM Butt asking him to annul the appointment on the grounds that the individual is a non operational officer who does not complete the PCA, and has had no operational command role since 1996, when he was the CFO, first of the Parnell District, then the Henderson /Glen Eden District under the review.

The FRM has refused to annul this post and therefore the Auckland Local has been given no option but to advise its members:

“To seriously consider the validity and safety of any operational instruction given to them by Operational Planning Officer Cuthbert, as to carry it out may result in the health and safety of our members being compromised.”

It is essential that members bear in mind the requirements of Section 19 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act which requires that employees take responsibility for their own and their colleagues’ health and safety while at work. To neglect this requirement may leave an employee open to prosecution under the Act, which carries severe penalties if found guilty of contravention of Section 19.

The Auckland Local believes that to carry out an operational instruction from any non operational staff member is to leave that member open to the possibility of prosecution under the Act.

The Auckland Local has reminded FRM Butt that the Hazardous Substances Advisor does not carry any rank and manages to carry out his role to great effect and the Local believes that all non operational staff should be subject to the same criteria as the HSA, unless there is a departmental need for a rank structure, then the rank markings or the epaulette colour should be different from operational staff.

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