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Staff shortages force firefighters to shut more stations

LEICHHARDT became the latest fire station to be closed last Friday because of budget cuts.

The State Government’s adoption of rolling fire station closures meant firefighters were moved to Balmain and Leichhardt was closed.

Balmain state Greens MP Jamie Parker said the move to cut $70 million from running costs of Fire and Rescue NSW over four years put the community at risk.

“When the public service is attacked, public services immediately suffer and we’re seeing the results of the government’s savage cuts,” Mr Parker said.

“When there is not enough staff, the station can’t operate and that puts local residents at risk.”

Last November the State Government introduced a system — TOLing — whereby stations were taken off line if there were not enough staff available.

The remaining firefighters at the off line station are then moved to another station. The practice is believed to be aimed at preventing overtime being paid to fill staffing shortages.

The Fire Brigade Employees’ Union said more firefighters were needed.

via Staff shortages force firefighters to shut more suburban bases | thetelegraph.com.au.

About Darin Sullivan (1967 Articles)
President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union and a professional firefighter with more than 25 years’ experience. Father of two daughters, he lives and works on the NSW South Coast, Australia. He is a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around him. He is a Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and works with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist he has long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. Now a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and has decades of experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. He is passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. Darin is also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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