Establishing WHS procedures in the NSW RFS by Michael Eburn

In Mr Eburns’ post:

1. Mr Eburn can’t say whether there has been any, or adequate consultation on the establishment of workgroups.

2. The fact that Mr Eburns’ correspondent does not ‘believe that 49 HSRs are sufficient nor does this represent the different work groups’ is irrelevant. The question is ‘has the establishment of the workgroups been arrived at in consultation, and by agreement, with the workers?’

3. The process for the RFS to conduct elections of HSRs appears to Mr Eburn to be inconsistent with the Act. It is up to each workgroup to determine how HSRs will be elected.

4. Without a detailed examination, the Service Standard looks broadly consistent with the Act and Regulation (with the exception of the election of HSR representatives discussed at (3), above) noting that if there is an inconsistency, the Act and/or Regulation will prevail.

5. Mr Eburn does not see any issue with respect to a perceived ‘lack of urgency’ in the resolution of health and safety issues.

Of course if there has not been proper consultation on the establishment of workgroups and the health and safety consultation arrangements then that is another matter.   The model of the Act anticipates that resolution of health and safety issues, including the processes for consultation and resolution, will be subject to cooperative negotiation between the PCBU and its workers.  If that has not occurred the PCBU’s policy, no matter how comprehensive and otherwise in line with Act, fails at the first hurdle.  As noted, Mr Eburn cannot say whether or not there has been adequate consultation on the preparation of this service standard.

See us at Henty Machinery Field Days (site 54a)

The Volunteer Fire Fighters Association (VFFA) has secured a site at the Henty Machinery Field Days. The focus of our presence at Henty will be to “Put the RURAL back into the Rural Fire Service”.

Our site will feature a couple of tanker trailers in an effort to create some discussion upon the need for the State government to formally recognise the firefighting capability that farmers bring to the table.

Fire-fighting helicopter pilot speaks out against Martin Mars Water Bomber

Fire-fighting helicopter pilot speaks out against Martin Mars Water Bomber

“Water doesn’t put out a fire, the crews do,” the anonymous pilot wrote. “Large aircraft such as what you have read about in this article take crews off the fire lines, sit helicopters on the ground for hours and stop precious production and critical gains,” the pilot wrote. “[The Bomber’s] water comes out at a force which sends embers out and start spot fires.”

“[The water bombing method] loosens ground, blows over trees creating hazards and ruins guards put in by crews.”

Congratulations to all winners

Congratulations to all winners

An extra (totally bias) round of applause to Gordon Hill. Those who know Gordon, also know that he wears many hats and he is dedicated to his volunteer service.

There is another, very active NSW RFS member in that group of worthy recipients. He is not representing the NSW RFS for the awards but, like Gordon, he wears many hats.

Who will be the first to point him out?

Headquarters does not put fires out

Headquarters does not put fires out

Mr Grant forgot one simple fact. The NSW RFS headquarters does not put the fires out.
Firefighters (full time, part time and volunteer) put the fires out.

The Hon. Philip Donato (Orange) asks the question (directed to the Minister for Police, and Minister for Emergency Services) “In light of the recent announcement on the new Rural Fire Service training facility in Dubbo, will the Minister now reconsider the relocation of the entire Rural Fire Service headquarters to the Central West?”

Vale Val Jeffery

Vale Val Jeffery

The last three verses of Vals’ poem “Mans Cruelty to Nature” that he wrote in 2003.

City proud of trees amidst the homes, spread through the fields,
A place of pure bush-beauty should not expect such tragedy,
That thrust this town with vicious fear into a firebrand battlefield
Surely we were let down by such a feat of foolish travesty?

I wander now through black, bent, lonely, twisted trees,
Where as a child I savoured many misty moments here,
Still; eerie now, no urgent rustling movement through the leaves,
Fools have stolen sounds of chirping vibrant birds I held so dear.

Can the scars of gaping wicked wounds to nature’s precious folds,
Be ever salved and lessons learnt from man’s short sightedness,
Or will the blessed autumn rains bring life’s beauty to behold,
To hide human frailty beneath the newborn forest’s ruggedness?