Code Red – FRNSW Seeks to Shut Down ComSafe – No Chargeable Codes on AFAs

February 20, 2024

CODE RED – FRNSW Seeks to Shut Down ComSafe
No Chargeable Codes on AFAs

This morning, Senior management spoke with FBEU members in ComSafe to inform them of their intent to close the ComSafe business unit entirely, affecting over 25 FBEU operational Firefighters along with civilian staff.

This news was delivered without warning, without consultation and, clearly, without any real thought by FRNSW’s decision makers.

FRNSW’s 2022-23 Annual Report notes that ComSafe delivered 458 general and specialised fire safety courses in 2022-23 to 8,189 students, with 219 accredited students being issued 775 units of competency. The ComSafe team also brought in nearly $1.2million in revenue to FRNSW in 2022-23, a 192% increase from 2021-22.

The 2023 Awards which were agreed to by FRNSW say that “where the employer seeks to introduce or implement any change that affects employees, provisions of this Award and/or the employment relationship, such change will be the subject of consultation with the FBEU”. We are disappointed to report that the required consultation has not occurred with the FBEU, representing not just an Award breach, but a breach of trust and a total disregard for the FBEU’s members and your Award that was signed up to just 4 months ago.

The loss of ComSafe would bring with it the loss of over 25 current Firefighter jobs, including work for over 20 casual trainers, slam shut yet another door on Retained Members seeking a Permanent pathway, and the loss of $1.2million in revenue to FRNSW, not to mention 458 fire safety courses not being taught, which has a major impact on the preparedness of our community to deal with fires and emergency situations.

We will not let this behaviour stand without response. This AFA Code Red is a starting point, with additional action to be considered the longer this situation persists. As a Union, we must stand up for every Union job, and fight against Management when they act unilaterally, or they will continue doing so thinking they can get away with it.

Effective immediately, members are hereby instructed to only use the below codes when sending a stop message at an AFA. This instruction remains in place until further notice from the State Secretary.

  • Code 100 – (Actual fire reported by fire system)
  • Code 702 – (Alarm operated due to extreme weather conditions-rain, storm, lightning, thunder, dust, flood, rainwater leaking onto detector, etc)
  • Code 706 – (Council or water supply authority causes pressure fluctuation through water mains)
  • Code 707 – (Alarm operated due to power surge/spike or short circuit, blackout)
  • Code 751 – (Smoke detector operated – smoke from external source e.g. bushfire)
  • Code 762 – (Unintentional alarm e.g. accidental activation of Break Glass Alarm or Manual Control Point, damaged sprinkler head not attributed to owner/occupant

Almost all AFAs can be placed into one of these categories. You are not required to be specific with AFA stop codes, but rather to do your best to place the cause of the AFA as best as you can using the stop codes provided. We are not aware of any IC being targeted by FRNSW for any allegation of incorrect reporting of AFA stop code. Any challenge to an IC for using a stop code will be met with further industrial reaction. Reach out to your SCOM Official or the FBEU office if you require clarification on this instruction.

In Unity

Leighton Drury
State Secretary

Click here to download a printable version of this Code Red



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