SitRep 25/2022

May 5, 2022

Beyond Negligent – Firefighters at risk 

The FBEU write to report of a notifiable incident involving a Member who was electrocuted in station after engaging a light switch, resulting in the attendance of NSW Ambulance. The Union can report that the Member has recovered well, despite the severity of the incident.

This incident is demonstrative of the reckless neglect of our worksites, and of the State Government’s lack of appetite to fund our fire service.

It is utterly unacceptable.

This incident is a dramatic climax after sustained attempts from the FBEU and Members to engage FRNSW on a collaborative and productive resolution to issues exposed through the Fix our Fire Service campaign.

In recent weeks the Union and Members have seen an escalation of FRNSW’s formidable stubbornness. This has looked like:

  • FRNSW ignoring SafeWork NSW recommendations on the implementation of Work Health & Safety processes and procedures.
  • The disappearance of historic workplace safety audits from FRNSW archives .
  • FRNSW unwilling to consult on annual safety audits.
  • Quotes in budget estimates from ELT members suggesting that stations are mere ‘bricks and mortar’, irrelevant in a ‘modern’ fire service.
  • HSR’s and Delegates berated for attempts to raise safety concerns.

A quote from FRNSW’s Strategic Asset Management Plan best summaries the recklessness of this approach:

‘FRNSW has experienced a significant funding gap for an extended period of time…(this) has meant the innovative maintenance programs have been implemented to extend the useable life of assets (properties)’

The FBEU have today written to FRNSW demanding a meeting with the Commissioner and ELT members to discuss this ground-breaking ‘innovative’ approach.

We will be seeking the attendance of key HSR Committee members and interested Delegates and will endeavour to update Members on the meeting details in due course.

The FBEU encourage all Members to report health and safety concerns.

Safety is Union business. It is non-negotiable.

In Unity

Leighton Drury
State Secretary

You can download a printable version of the SitRep here.



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