Fire & Rescue NSW implements contingency plans as strike action commences

Published: 21st June 2012

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has initiated a range of contingency plans to provide fire and emergency services across NSW, as a number of firefighters plan to walk off the job.

At a meeting of members this morning, the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (FBEU) directed its members primarily in the Sydney, Illawarra and Newcastle areas to walk off the job from 1—6pm today.

FRNSW Acting Commissioner John Benson said the action taken by the FBEU was extremely disappointing, but the agency was focused on ensuring the safety of the community.

“This morning, firefighters have agreed to walk off the job. The course of action the FBEU has initiated is disappointing and irresponsible.

“But, my priority now is safety of the community. I have implemented a range of contingency plans to ensure that the community is protected during this industrial action.

“NSW Rural Fire Service volunteer firefighters are being deployed across the Sydney metropolitan region and in the Illawarra and Newcastle areas.

“The FRNSW major incident coordination centre has been activated and will coordinate the deployment of resources to fires and other emergencies. Other government resources, for example, hazardous materials specialists, are also available and will be called upon as required.

“People should continue to call Triple Zero (000) in the event of an emergency – calls will be prioritised and the available fire engines will be deployed to life-threatening situations in the first instance.”