This week’s news: Cairns firies demand better rescue gear

Qld: Cairns firefighters demand better rescue gear from Queensland Government.
Cairns firefighters say their lives are endangered during swift water rescues by low grade personal flotation devices and they are battling the Queensland Government for safer emergency response gear. Last month, the United Firefighters'Union lodged a complaint against the employer.

Vic: Nathalia residents told to go
Firefighters pump water over the levy after breach.

NSW/Vic: Evacuations in Sydney, NSW south coast; levee breaks in Victoria's Nathalia
Fire and Rescue NSW said 250 firefighters from more than 50 fire stations responded to dozens of incidents across the city.

WA: Bushfire reviews may stay secret
Premier Colin Barnett will order independent reviews of the DEC and FESA handling of two bushfires that hit Margaret River and Nannup last November - but the reports could be kept private.

WA: New FESA boss's secret chequered past
One of WA's new assistant fire commissioners was reprimanded in his previous role as a prison superintendent after it was discovered he was breaking protocol by visiting a female prisoner.

WA: Presumptive legislation is logical
Canadian firefighting experts have thrown their expertise behind WA's Fire Fighter Union as they push to have presumptive legislation introduced. Paul Murray spoke to Edmonton Fire Chief, Ken Block, and Canadian Fire Fighters Union President, Alex Forrest. (6PR radio interview).

WA: Out in the cold
The gazettal (sic) of three new fire districts in the South West before next summer, with minimal explanation, has put volunteers’ noses out of joint.

Vic: Only one sure strategy: go early
Since the release of the Royal Commission's report in July 2010, researchers have worked to reveal the scientific underpinnings of the bushfire .... recommend policymakers focus on .... boosting the adaptive capacity of institutions such as insurers and firefighters.

NSW: Firefighters retain and recruit
While this certainly has economic benefits for regional New South Wales it's indirectly affecting the recruitment of retained fire fighters because one of the main requirements of being a retained retained fire fighter is to be available on-call and that rules out a number mine workers who often work long hours and are often out of town (ABC Radio interview).

NZ: Firefighters join rally for better conditions
Firefighters are set to join forces with other embattled workers as the protest movement over workers' rights in New Zealand escalates. Fed up over lengthy negotiations, the Union says its next step could be to join port workers, bureaucrats and other industries fed up with current workplace conditions.
Firefighters set to join forces with other embattled workers as the protest movement escalates.

UK: South Yorkshire fire crews challenge need for frontline cuts
South Yorkshire fire crews are challenging the need for savage frontline cuts that could still go ahead despite fire authority budget chiefs backing a 3.95% council tax rise for the fire service.

NZ: Unions join forces to support ousted port workers
Firefighters, teachers and nurses' representatives will join striking Auckland port workers tomorrow, in a rally against what they describe as "vicious employers''.

NZ: Attacks on fire chief lead to role change
The Fire Service's regional manager for most of the South Island has temporarily stepped down after "ongoing personal attacks" against him. The New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union said it had no confidence in his abilities. Saunders will be replaced by Wellington-based assistant commander Trevor Brown.

Canada: Modern building construction issues
New homes are stronger, better designed and more energy efficient, but firefighters are sounding the alarm over engineered truss roofing and floors that burn faster than traditional construction.
CTV News - three part series.

USA: Judges orders millions paid in NYC firefighter bias case
A U.S. district judge ordered New York City to pay $128 million in to firefighters who allege the city used an entrance exam that deliberately sought to keep African-Americans and Latino Americans off the force.


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