This week’s news: August 10 2012

Australia
National: UFUA status as the federal union for firefighters preserved

Federal regulations have now been passed which match a number of state based firefighter unions with the UFUA as the federal counterpart. This enshrines the UFUA as the organisation that will represent the interests of firefighters in the federal industrial arena. Litigation has now been withdrawn.

NSW: Fire station closures suspended
The plan to temporarily close fire stations across NSW has been suspended briefly to discuss alternative cost-saving measures.
Fire Brigade to fight closures.
NSW firies says govt cuts 'unrealistic'.
NSW firefighter cuts to go ahead says minister.
Umpire halts NSW fire station shutdown.

Qld: Gladstone review call
State member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham's call for a review and an increase to staff at the Gladstone Fire Station and other fire stations in the region is tabled in State Parliament.
Fears aired over fire services.

Vic: Firies furious over Fiskville illness
Firefighters will have to wait to find out if they will be eligible for compensation after being exposed to toxic chemicals during training activities. The Country Fire Authority has apologised for 'draconian' practices that put about 87000 people at risk.

ACT: Queen tested in trial by fire
A framed photograph of her was one of many objects put into an experimental blaze conducted for the National Archives by ACT Emergency Services Agency at the latter's training facility in a bleak paddock at Hume.

Vic: Firefighters to work harder after DSE cuts
Department cuts will mean less resources for planned burns and a need for firefighting bodies to work smarter, the Fire Services Commissioner says.

National: Former RAAF firefighters exposed to toxic chemicals
Former RAAF firefighters are being struck down by cancer and neurological diseases they say are caused by the burning of toxic chemicals at bases around the country.
RAAF firies want toxic chemical answers.

International
NZ: Government review of the fire service funding & mandate
For a long time now (going back to the '90s), the Union has been an advocate for a review of the fire service funding mechanism and the legislative mandate to recognise the reality of the expected operations/function that firefighters carry out on a day to day basis.
Fire service faces formal review.
NZ fire service set to be reviewed.

USA: Workers Stand for America rally
Firefighters to join Philadelphia rally to highlight how the nation's politics, society and economy have been geared almost entirely to the well-being of the richest while everyone else is left behind.
Find out more on the campaign website.

Bosnia: Wildfires set off explosions in Bosnia minefield
As firefighters tried to contain two wildfires near an ammunition factory in southern Bosnia, one of the blazes began setting off explosions in a minefield left over from the country's war in the 1990s.

USA: NY mayor's plan to cut firefighter OT put on hold
Yonkers residents are relieved that the city's plan to reduce fire department overtime costs by taking trucks off the streets has been temporarily nixed by a court order.

NZ: Fire, ambulance welcome penalty
Tougher sentences for people who assault emergency workers have been welcomed by ambulance and fire services.

USA: New Jersey council rejects a grant desperately needed by firefighters
The mayor and firefighters in Vineland are shocked after city council turns down a federal grant the city desperately needed.

USA: Firefighters in 2,500 mile bike trek
The Tour of Duty bike ride, which started as a relay race on foot two years ago, has evolved into a bike tour that will make about 20 stops across the country, including one in the Valley, ending at the USS Intrepid in New York City; there are 12 Australians on the journey.
Find out more on the Tour of Duty website.

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