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Fire and Rescue NSW statement on FBEU’s Open Day ban

Published: 13th May 2021

 

Fire and Rescue NSW has strongly condemned the actions of the Fire Brigade Employee Union (FBEU) to stop its popular Open Day community event.

FBEU State Secretary Shane Kennedy and the State Committee of Management today issued a ban on Sydney metropolitan firefighters participating in Open Day activities, saying COVID-19 was a risk to firefighter safety.

FRNSW Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell said attending Open Day activities was no different to going to the supermarket or café.

“The FBEU’s assertion that we would risk the health and wellbeing of both our firefighters and the community is false,” he said.

The annual FRNSW Open Day event offers families and children the opportunity to take a look inside their local FRNSW fire station, meet firefighters and learn about vital home fire safety.

FRNSW Deputy Commissioner Fewtrell said Open Day planning was consistent with NSW Health guidelines and FBEU had exaggerated the risk to firefighters and the community.

“It defies belief that the FBEU would seek to close the doors of our local fire stations and stop a much-loved community event from taking place,” Deputy Commissioner Fewtrell said.

“Banning firefighters from engaging with the communities they protect and serve on a daily basis is ludicrous.”

More than 100 stations across regional NSW will still participate in Open Day activities.

Deputy Commissioner Fewtrell also said the FBEU had implemented the ban without following the agreed dispute resolution procedures.

“The ban is inconsistent with other community events that are able to continue under NSW Health guidelines.”

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Note: FRNSW Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell is available for interviews. Contact Tanya Abraham 0418 832 596