This week’s news: cost of a cuppa would save firies

Australia
Tas: Cost of a cuppa would save firies.

The Tasmanian Fire Service could be bankrupt within five years if a council-collected levy worth upwards of $10 million annually isn't restored to previous levels. The Union has told a rally in Hobart that at a yearly cost of about a cup of coffee for each ratepayer, the TFS would be able to stop potential station and training centre closures and fill vacancies that were advertised in January last year.
Firies put heat on Govt over cuts.

Vic: CFA station wear faults
CFA Members highlight inadequacy of, and high level of faults in, station wear issued to CFA personnel.

Qld: Firies fire up over resources
In Gladstone, the question is whether the emergency services are able to protect this rapidly changing changing city. Frustrated firefighters have taken to the streets expressing their concerns for the Gladstone public. UFUA Queensland Branch secretary John Oliver said the QFRS claim that Gladstone fire station had 21 rostered firefighters was misleading.

Vic: CFBT burn cells  
The CFA builds a Compartment Fire Behaviour Training (CFBT) burn cell but fails to notify the Union, despite OHS exposure dangers connected with their construction and use.
Also, the CFA instructs members at Fiskville to use a new arial pumper, without the required prior consultations with the Union.

Qld: Former RAAF firies call to report health cases
Former RAAF firefighters who have been diagnosed with cancer and other associated health problems believe that their illness was caused by years of burning dangerous chemicals in training activities.
Call to report RAAF firefighter health cases.

Vic: Warrnambool Fire Brigade anniversary sparks trip down memory lane
Mr Nicol was one of about 60 current and former members to attend the event, which marked a delayed 50 years since the beginning of paid firefighters at the south-west station. The Warrnambool Fire Brigade was officially formed in 1863 and will celebrate its 150th anniversary next year.

NSW: Firie voices cuts worries
A long-serving Parramatta firefighter has told Premier Barry O'Farrell that a proposed cut to the minimum number of staff assigned to each fire truck would endanger lives.
NSW Premier in the hot seat.

Vic: Scam piggybacks on CFA goodwill
Scammers are continuing to impersonate CFA officers across Melbourne's eastern suburbs. Residents have reported that people claiming to be from the CFA are selling fire blankets and extinguishers door to door in Knox and across the Dandenong Ranges.

International
NZ Firefighters halt strike in show of good faith
Firefighters will suspend strike action next week as a show of good faith before negotiations resume with the New Zealand Fire Service. Invercargill Professional Firefighters Union secretary Aaron Ramsey said yesterday the Fire Service had agreed to remove a couple of the 'stumbling blocks' around proposed changes to the rostering system, which would have given firefighters eight days' notice of rosters and potential 24-hour shifts,

USA: Foreign firefighters get elite training
Task Force 3 trains firefighters from across the globe including China, Taiwan, New Zealand, Canada and Australia in specialized search and rescue techniques.

Afghanistan / Canada: A quiet mission to save the fire chief of Kandahar
Kandahar fire Chief Ghulam Hazrat was badly injured in a Taliban suicide attack last year.

UK: Pension contribution increases
The Westminster government announces increases in firefighter pension contributions. While the increases are half what the government originally planned to impose, any increase is an unwelcome step at a time of a pay freeze and high rates of inflation. The FBU’s Executive Council will now consider the implications of these increases.

NZ: Rescue for fire station
The New Zealand Fire Service is to spend a least $1 million to seismically strengthen the central Wellington station.

USA: IAFF affiliate leaders talk politics
2012 Legislative Conference prepares for crucial elections as attacks on public employees continue.

Southeast Asia: The Haze that invaded Asia remembered
In 1997, for over 25 long, torturous days, firemfighters fought a desperate battle with fires raging across Sumatra and Kalimantan. Operation Haze became the biggest cross border firefighting mission in history.

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