Members are advised that the Wellington Local has been unsuccessful in requests to management to raise the 1st alarm response to vegetation fires to two pumps during the vegetation fire season.

This has been a long-standing initiative each year and this year was supported again by both the Wellington and Hutt District Chiefs and the Wellington Rural Fire officer.

It appears that the long-standing arrangement of responding 2 pumps to vegetation fires from Labour Day during the vegetation fire season has been conveniently forgotten by the Assistant Regional commander operations, Kennedy (not surprisingly given he is rarely seen by operational firefighters) who apparently insists that no procedure was ever adopted despite it occurring as recently as last year and every year prior to that for at least two decades.

However, Regional management, specifically the Assistant Regional Commander, Operations, Kennedy has ordered that the Comcen are not to adjust the initial response of one pump essentially because he considers it will disrupt volunteers at Tawa, Silverstream and Stokes Valley, dispatching too many pumps (and no doubt have a detrimental effect on Corporate Outputs).

For the sake of three volunteer Brigades, Kilbirnie, Newtown, Brooklyn, City, Karori, Thorndon, Johnsonville, Porirua, Petone, Lower Hutt, Trentham and Rimutaka are denied what has been common in the past – a 2nd pump on initial responses to vegetation fires during the vegetation fire season.

Members will be aware of CFO Graham’s e-mail regarding Tinakori Hills, which increases responses specifically due to the risk there.

Overall the Wellington local is confronted with the bizarre situation of two experienced professional District C.F.O.s unable to implement emergency response initiatives in their own Districts.

Hardly helping communities protect what they value and reducing the incidence and particularly the consequence of fires is it?

Little wonder then the National Commander looks curiously at the present District/Regional management structure and surely the writing is now on the wall for the demise of one or the other.

Perhaps here we are witnessing the desperate flexing of Regional muscle to consolidate their prominence in a new order.

In any event, Officers are encouraged by the Wellington Local, clearly supported by the Wellington and Hutt District Chiefs, to make pumps 2 when responding to vegetation fires.

Members are also reminded in addition to transmit a 2nd alarm if there is any potential for fire spread and particularly in isolated areas.

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