Members will not be surprised to hear that Regional Management, Mr Kennedy and now Mr Butzbach are continuing to ignore the long standing 1st alarm response of sending two pumps to vegetation fires in the fire season.

This Local is completely aware that the main driving reason for this is “as it causes the unnecessary response of some volunteer stations”. This staggering statement shows a callous disregard to the safety of fire crews and the public who would be in danger should a fire start in those danger areas.

This Local cannot sit back and allow the Arapawa Regional management to play this type of Russian Roulette with the public. It is in the public’s best interests that the vegetation response is increased over the fire season.

What Regional management has said is, it is the OIC’s responsibility to upgrade should he deem it necessary. This is a complete cop out by Regional managers Butzbach and Kennedy and is an effort to remove any blame from themselves should a fire get out of hand and houses are lost. They will just pass any blame onto first arriving Officers and say well why didn’t you make up?

This is completely unsatisfactory especially given that the only reason is that they don’t want to bother 3 volunteer stations with “unnecessary responses”.

Members will be aware that responses to property fires are a minimum of two appliances because of the risk versus consequences and potential outcomes, the same applies in this case, although the Local suggests that Regional management’s position is bordering on downright negligence.

This Local cannot in good conscience allow Regional Management to expose Union members and the public to the dangerous situations these incidents can cause.

Therefore, members are strongly urged to identify their high risk areas by specific response zones, e mail their CFO’s stating they have serious concerns regarding the responses to vegetation fires in these zones given the risk and likely consequences and recommend that the 1st alarm response be upgraded to 2 appliances as a bare minimum.

Members are asked to report back, with urgency, to the Local Secretary if they still encounter a regional block to this important upgrade.

If Regional Management are unwilling to protect Greater Wellington’s communities then the Local Union will.

This Local wonders how long Regions, especially Arapawa can continue to be supported and employed as once again they are being seen as impediments rather than helpful.

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