The station manager was the only firefighter on the premises with one of the permanent firefighters sent to the Branxton station and the other two on leave, Unions NSW spokeswoman Mary Yaager said.
“We have spoken to local firefighters and we stand by the comments published in the Mercury on Thursday. This situation is real, it is happening and the public will be impacted by this cost-cutting.”
Ms Yaager said the absence of a permanent crew at Maitland during business hours blew-out the response time from 60 seconds to up to 10 minutes.
Commissioner Mullins said East Maitland, Telarah and Morpeth fire stations were online to respond but acknowledged Morpeth could be temporarily closed if the station did not have a safe crew level of retained firefighters to respond.