HOUSES and lives were put in danger in yesterday’s fire, as a result of government budget cuts, unions say.
The Fire Brigade Employees Union hit out at the NSW government for closing five fire stations on one of the hottest days this year.
Fire stations in Camden, Riverwood, Miranda, Mona Vale and Ryde were closed yesterday, but as soon as the bushfire emergency hit, off-duty firefighters were called back to work.
FBEU secretary Jim Casey said the government’s decision to temporarily close stations was putting the community at risk.
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that hot weather and strong winds can mean bushfires, but it appears to be news to the O’Farrell Government who have been caught with their pants down today,” Mr Casey said.
“Off-duty fire crews had to be called in as neighbouring stations raced to protect life and property, all because budget cuts have left large areas of Sydney without adequate fire protection.
A spokeswoman for emergency services minister Michael Gallacher said weather conditions were unexpected, and all trucks brought back to work as soon as fires began.
”With over 100 fire trucks and stations on duty in the Greater Sydney Area (GSA) on any given day, around 10 fire trucks were undertaking training while another four fire trucks were temporarily offline this morning. As unforecast weather conditions and bushfire emergencies unfolded, all training was cancelled and all trucks were brought back on line.”