Cuts all round

Victoria's Minister for Emergency Services, the MFB and CFA confirm an approximately $41 million cut to the CFA's budget and $25 million cut to the MFB's. More cuts are to follow down the track.

The week's news September 7, 2012

Links to selected firefighter workplace, industrial, technology and OHS news stories.

Australia
Vic: Minister confirms significant budget cuts for the CFA and MFB
120907_mfb_cfa_250Victorian State Minister for Emergency Services Peter Ryan, MFB CEO Nick Easy and a CFA “spokesperson” confirm budget cuts of approximately $41 million for the CFA and $25 million for the MFB, with further cuts forecasted in following years.
Firefighting funds to be slashed.
Union claims Baillieu government about to slash millions from fire services.
Budget cuts affect Vic firefighting: Union.
New CFA jobs delayed by budget cuts.

Qld: Firies burnt by 'dog' of an computer system
Queensland firefighters have been tied to their desks by a 'dog' of an IT system that has proved a multi-million-dollar money pit for the QFRS, insiders say.

SA: Hills not ready for fire danger
A report on bushfire risk by a South Australian Parliamentary committee has warned of poor safety standards for many homes in areas devastated by the Ash Wednesday fires of 1983.

Qld: QFRS prepares for hellish bushfire season
The bushfire season forecast from firefighters is bleak. Queensland Fire and Rescue Service area commander Simon Ball said a high volume of dead tree limbs, dry grass and leaf litter was concerning.
Rural firies could face further cuts.
Bushfire educators face the axe.
Minister gives assurance on staff for fire season.

Vic: Sharp increase in Geelong arson cases
The Geelong area accounted for more than a quarter of all arson reports in the Western District, which runs to the South Australian border... "The CFA is aware the statistics show an increase in the number of deliberately lit fires in the Geelong area over the last 12 months,"...

NSW: Union fires up to fight station closures
A Fire and Rescue NSW spokeswoman said a small number of stations in Sydney could be "taken offline temporarily when less than four firefighters are available due to staff absence".

Vic: Fire levy an unfair burden, say ratepayers
North-west residents will fork out an extra $100 a year for their council rates to help fund Victoria's firefighting services under one of the biggest shake-ups of state taxes in decades.

International

USA: Firefighters from Australia, New Zealand observe
Nine firefighters from Australia and New Zealand are joining Los Angeles County fire crews to get a first-hand look at tools and techniques being used to battle a blaze northeast of Los Angeles.

NZ: Roll out of new BA
The Fire Service ... has made it clear they have no need now for certified/trained BA Technicians, as maintenance is to be contracted out to Drager.

USA: Union seeks records in fire that killed two Philly firefighters
The Philadelphia firefighters' union has filed an unfair-labor-practice charge against the city in an effort to get audio recordings and written reports from an April blaze that killed two firefighters in a wall collapse.

Portugal: EU help sought to fight forest fires
Authorities have requested European Union assistance in fighting forest fires, which have spread across the central and northern parts of the country.

UK: Futurist fixes for fighting skyscraper fires
A recent fire in the 42 story Polat Tower in Istanbul was eventually contained by helicopters and firefighters working from the ground, as was a blaze in April at the Federation building in Moscow.

USA: Romney opposes bargaining rights for firefighters and police
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has told the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) that "I will oppose" expanding collective bargaining rights for public workers if he wins the White House.

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