South Island Relief Type 5 is unsafe as not fit for purpose

The NZPFU has notified FENZ that the South Island Spare Type 5 Aerial Appliance registration number FWM97 is unsafe and not fit for purpose.

It is in the interests of the public safety, and the safety of those responding that the NZPFU has determined that our members cannot operate this appliance as a response capability vehicle.  

The Christchurch Local formally wrote to FENZ in September confirming that due to extensive history and contemporary significant issues with the 1986 appliance, the Local had deemed the appliance unsafe.  The Christchurch Local’s correspondence included a risk matrix complied by the Christchurch metro team and the Wellington Local’s report listing the issues that deemed the appliance not fit for purpose when it was located at Newtown Station.  Many of those issues were relevant to the Christchurch Local’s concerns including constant repairs, overall length in engine bays and training requirements.  The Dunedin Local had also raised issues with the appliance’s operational deployment.

The vehicle is approximately 34 years old, almost a decade older than FENZ’s own appliance policy. Due to the age of the appliance it is constantly needing repair including mechanical faults and the elevate and depress mechanisms. 

Recently NZPFU representatives again met with Region 4 management to reiterate the issues with the appliances and their concerns for the safety of firefighters and the public.  Key concerns included the danger posed to pedestrians, cyclists and other road users due to the vehicle’s turning circle and the lack of safety systems to control the hazards posed by inadvertently operating the aerial unit outside its safe working parameters.

It is the NZPFU’s view that this appliance cannot be operated safely and is not fit for purpose, regardless of where it is located.  While repairs may fix some issues as they arise, there are safety issues that cannot be remedied. 

In unity,
Wattie Watson
National Secretary 

Related Articles

VIEW ALL

VHF Zone A Ch10 Interagency Liaison

With the change in Auckland to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, Officers are reminded of the ability to use their command radios to talk directly with St John Ambulance staff when responded to Purple Events. 


FENZ Regional Manager Ignores Union Concerns Around America’s Cup

Members will remember our Notice last week advising of our grave concerns around FENZ’s planning around the America’s Cup sporting regatta.


Grave Concerns over FENZ Americas Cup Planning

The Local has written to the Regional Manager outlining our grave concerns that Fire Emergency is relinquishing its main functions under the Fire and Emergency Act in favour of secondary responsibilities and has not adequately prepared or planned for the 2021 Prada Cup and the 36th Americas Cup Sporting Event.