The festive period has seen COVID-19 run rampant across the state, across our worksites, and many other front-line worksites. For FRNSW, the result has been mass staff shortages, attempts to reduce minimum crewing, a lack of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs), and confusion surrounding guidelines for casual and close contacts. There have also been reports of platoons sharing P2 masks due to lack of supply over the shutdown period.
Members, the ball has been dropped and this sits directly with the FRNSW ELT.
Today the FBEU met with FRNSW formally to reaffirm the reasonable asks which the Union has pushed for throughout the Christmas period. This includes:
Adequate supply of ‘appropriate’ PPE inc. the introduction of fit-testing masks
The introduction of Rapid Antigen Testing at stations for the commencement of shifts
The reintroduction of contactless changeovers
Deep cleaning of worksites with a positive case
Joint communications explaining the requirements for close and casual contacts
We will endeavour to update members on the progress of these requests.
As it stands, the following is in place for contacts:
Confirmed Covid cases: Isolate for 7 days from date of positive PCR test. You are to notify your manager and any members you have been in contact with. If you show no symptoms at day seven you are free to return to your normal life.
Extended exposure to Covid positive person: Undertake PCR test and isolate for 7 days from exposure date of Covid positive person. A negative RAT is required on day 6 before leaving isolation.
Casual contact: Undertake a RAT as soon as possible, if negative, monitor for symptoms. If positive, a PCR test is required as confirmation.
When a recent positive case came through the Greenacre site, all staff were tested and advised to work from home.
Operational firefighters do not have this luxury and we won’t settle for control measures that don’t work to ensure your safety. If you’re feeling unwell don’t risk coming in to work.
The health and wellbeing of members is the responsibility of FRNSW ELT. They owe this to you, your families, and the communities you serve.
You can download a printable version of this SitRep here