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Gordon, Beecroft #FRNSW firefighters staffing Hornsby fire station due to #NSWpol budget cuts | #AusUnions #FBEU

cherrybrook

Firefighters from Beecroft extinguished a blaze in the roof of this home on Hancock Drive, Cherrybrook, ordinarily something a Hornsby crew would be called to do. Picture: TRACEY FINDLAY Source: News Limited

A fire 1km from Hornsby’s fire station was attended to by firefighters from Gordon a fortnight ago, because of State Government reluctance to pay overtime to local firefighters.

Before November 2012, staff absences were filled by calling in off-shift firefighters and paying overtime.

Since then, due to budget cuts, Fire and Rescue NSW has been forced to send crews from other parts of Sydney to staff Hornsby and Berowra stations when local firefighters take leave.

Fire Brigade Employees Union records show this has happened seven times at Hornsby and twice at Berowra since November 2012.

An Ashfield crew manned Hornsby last Saturday.

On May 19, the yard fire was not life threatening and nor was a house fire in Cherrybrook on the same day, attended by fire crews from Beecroft.

A Fire and Rescue NSW statement said that local stations “may be briefly unstaffed while replacement crews travel to and from Hornsby or Berowra” and that they “have been identified as locations where a fire engine and crew must always be available.”

Hornsby state Liberal MP said the issue was an “operational matter” for Fire and Rescue NSW.

Hornsby mayor Steve Russell said the cuts to overtime “don’t worry” him. “I’m not worried as long as the Fire Brigade can provide the service and no-one’s life is in danger,” he said. The State Government “had to trim back” the budget. Hornsby Council paid $1.6 million in fire brigade levies in 2012.

Union state secretary Jim Casey said response times would be affected.

“It is not a question of if, it is a question of when it will end in tragedy.”

Gordon, Beecroft firefighters staffing Hornsby fire station due to budget cuts | 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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