Written by FBEU member – Jeff Sundstrom:
Q: When is a reduction in services “not” a reduction in services?
A: When you believe pure spin….
This is a piece of classic spin and diversion….. all the redevelopments listed in this story were already slated prior to the attack on the Holmesville community.http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1683670/more-firefighters-for-lower-hunter/?cs=305
MORE FIREFIGHTERS? Sorry I’ll just check the maths…… X -12 + 12 – 16 = -16
You see the X is the pre Holmesville transfer staffing in the region and the 12 that went to Holmesville came from other stations, not new positions as I understand [happy to be corrected on that] and when you take 12 and transfer them that is not an increase. So now that we drop Holmesville staffing by 16 and use them to fill vacancies there is no net gain in Fire Fighter staffing, In fact the effect is a reduction in numbers across the board. The reduction is 16…..
Lets look at the initial move of the 12 and what it meant for Holmesville…..
FRNSW puffed out its chest and spruiked the transfer of 12 firefighters from other stations as an increase. “The additional firefighters will provide faster round-the-clock protection for local communities” they said.
What does Mr Mullins say? I hear you ask….. well,
This is from the FRNSW web site “NSWFB Commissioner Greg Mullins welcomed the arrival of full time firefighters at Holmesville Station and said it represented a major boost for the NSWFB and the community alike. “Since being officially opened on the 12 May, Holmesville Station has already responded to 35 emergency calls.”
Mr Mullins said. “The arrival of full-time firefighters at Holmesville will ensure that the NSWFB can maintain the high level of service and rapid response times the community expects. “It also means that firefighters will have greater capacity to participate in fire prevention and community safety work, which is vital to ensuring that communities can prevent and prepare for emergencies.”
So what of the placement of these firefighters and the services that they provide to the folks of Holmesville and surrounds? Is that all to be disregarded now? If it was needed then isn’t needed now? You see this
You see what has been done is a sham. Will these 16 Fire Fighters all be used exclusively in the Lower Hunter? … Only if there are travel restrictions place on these individuals. Current practice if for “relievers” to travel as far as 160 Km or more away from the station to which they are attached.
So now we have…..
1. No additional Firefighters
2. No major boost for any community.
3. No major boost for NSWFB.
4. The removal of full-time firefighters at Holmesville will ensure that the NSWFB can no longer maintain the high level of service.
5. The removal of full-time firefighters at Holmesville will mean that firefighters will have LESSER capacity to participate in fire prevention and community safety work, which would have been vital to ensuring that communities can prevent and prepare for emergencies.”
As I said in another post Shame now falls on the shoulders of FRNSW and The NSW Government.
NEWCASTLE and Lower Hunter fire stations could avoid temporary closures in the future with new staffing changes at the Holmesville facility.