December 21, 2005

In August 2001 the Union issued a notice instructing Permanent members to  check/maintain/wash only their station’s pumper or aerial pumper (as the case may be), and for the rostered driver for that shift to claim and be paid the (then) motor drive allowance. Similarly, Retained members were to check/maintain/wash any and all other appliances at the station, and to claim and be paid for all time spent doing so as per Standing Orders and clause 6.7.1 of the Retained Award.Whilst the removal of the old motor drive allowance (being one of several changes to the permanent Award’s Clause 6 that took effect on Friday 25 November following endorsement by members at the July 2005 SGM) did not alter the intent of that instruction, continued feedback from members and an ongoing review of Union policy led the State Committee to adopt a revised, more comprehensive policy to better provide direction for permanent and retained members at jointly staffed stations.  

The instruction of 13 August 2001 has been superseded by the revised policy set out below, effective immediately. This revised policy is to be observed by all members and shall remain in force until  directed otherwise by way of further notice from the State Secretary.

Staffing of appliances at jointly-staffed stations

1    That subject to points 2 and 3 (below) and the maintenance of safe and effective minimum staffing at all times, each appliance at every jointly staffed Station may be staffed at the discretion of the Station Officer by either permanent members, retained members, or a combination of both.

2    That hazmat appliances (including vans and composites) should only ever be staffed by permanent members within the Newcastle, Central Coast, Illawarra and Greater Sydney areas. Further, and beyond these areas, that hazmat appliances should only be staffed by retained members, except where there are more than four permanent members available for that particular shift, in which case the excess permanent member(s) may then (and only then) staff a hazmat appliance.

3    That with the exception of aerial appliances (including aerial pumpers), which should be staffed and operated only by permanent members, all members attached to a Station should be trained in and qualified to operate all appliances and equipment attached to and/or located at their Station.

4    That at all jointly staffed Stations, the permanent members should generally remain committed to the staffing of their Station’s primary pumper (or aerial pumper, as the case may be). Similarly, retained members should always ensure that if (and/or whenever) there are no permanent members on shift at their Station that the primary pumper is the first appliance to be staffed with a safe minimum crew of four.

5    That subject to point 2, permanent members should not check or maintain any more than one appliance per shift, thereby leaving the Station’s remaining appliance(s) to be checked and maintained by the Station’s retained members in accordance with the Retained Award’s authorised duties provisions. Provided that if the permanent staffing for a given shift is in excess of Station Officer and three permanent firefighters, then the excess permanent member(s) should then (and only then) staff, check, operate and respond in a separate and additional appliance.

Craig Harris
State Secretary