Tonight Commissioner Baxter decided to make an unwelcome late appearance to the party and announced we would be taking on PAD work immediately.
**Update** The two emails sent today by the Commissioner to all staff have now mysteriously been removed from all staff inboxes. Luckily we kept copies. You can read the first email here, and the second here.
This is a clear breach of the award and we will be notifying FRNSW of the same. We will also be following the 2015 general meeting decision if FRNSW start to turn appliances out.
I’m sure this came as a surprise not just to us but also to the people within FRNSW who we met with only yesterday to discuss the requests from Ambulance NSW.
Whether workers have the necessary training, support and infrastructure to undertake work proposed under the PAD program is yet to be determined. This was made clear by the IRC in their decision that PAD is new work.
The FBEU have actively met and worked in good faith with FRNSW to determine these matters on the available evidence. There has been one consistent and concerning hurdle throughout the handful of meetings had, FRNSW have been utterly negligent in their capacity to provide any data to support good-faith discussions. As a result, Safework NSW has been called in.
A disregard for good-faith discussion and a disregard for the health and safety of our members is also an utter disregard for the potential patient outcomes for any rushed introduction of medical work.
‘Prepared for anything’ is the catch cry of our Commissioner but he won’t be doing this work. He’ll be nowhere near it. Not when the 1A job you’re responded to is actually a stroke, or when your BLS is out of date, or when the patient is under eight and you’re holding an AED that doesn’t have the appropriate pads.
FBEU members deserve decision-makers ‘prepared’ to have hard conversations. The Community deserves a sufficiently trained and equipped response when suffering a medical incident.
We won’t have a repeat of how this work has played out inNZ, and we will not have our concerns ignored.
We are seeking urgent legal advice on this matter and there will be more to follow.