April 23, 2001

The Union’s officials have continued to monitor the measures which were introduced by the members attending last Friday’s stop-work meetings, and to consider the feedback provided by members since that time. Accordingly, the instruction at point 2. Four Stations to Every Call has been amended as follows:

  • Four NSWFB Stations are no longer required to be responded to AFA’s, however all other incidents should still begin with a four Station response.
  • Code 2’s may now be given if the members first in attendance at the incident consider it likely that the stop will be a Code 10, a Code 11 or a Code 14 (this amendment was actually first implemented verbally over the weekend).
  • Permanent appliances will no longer be required to give the number of SSF members responding with their Code 7, nor is it now necessary for further Stations to be responded until a combined ‘safe’ SSF crew size is reached.

With the exception of the above amendments, the Instruction issued on Saturday 21 April remains firmly in place (including the rest of point 2) and should therefore be strictly enforced by all members. The officials will continue to follow the operation of these measures, and continued member feedback is welcome.

The Commissioner is now attempting to destabilise our Instruction. It is important to understand that our Instruction does not represent industrial bans as such, rather only safety measures. Members’ should note the separate Union notice issued tonight headed “Let the buildings burn? The Department agrees”. Our footpath firefighting instruction is entirely in accord with the Departments’ own SOG’s, and I’d be interested to see any court order otherwise. After all, what are they going to say – get back into that building and die, or else? Hardly.

The cold, hard fact is that if any of our measures are going to bring pressure to bear on the Government, it will be footpath firefighting. The Government is already trying to argue to the IRC that at least 3 commercial properties are expected to be lost daily if this instruction is enforced by members. Frankly, that’s exactly what we need to happen. For every building that DOES burn to the ground we will move that much closer to a quick and successful end to this dispute. On the other hand, for every building that is saved the Government will know that our members are going soft, and that all they have to do is wait us out.

This is not a game. It’s serious, deadly serious. No-one else can win this dispute for you, and you can be certain that if we don’t win it then no-one else out there is going to give a damn about you and your family if something happens to you.



Chris Read
State Secretary



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