Did you know that the bullying and harassment issue has been around for a long time in the NSW RFS and it is not limited to RFS Volunteers?
Where does this bullying and harassment come from and where will it end?
It looks very suspicious when we see the NSW State Government failing to respond to the views of regional and rural communities. One example is the decentralisation of the RFS Head Office.
Are they being influenced by the NSW RFS?
Are they being bullied in some way?
The Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) will not disclose how much their 20th Anniversary celebrations cost and where the money came from.
Did attendees make a contribution?
Did Panthers do the RFSA a special deal?
Were special guests looked after in the, now famous RFSA “Gala” style?
Were there any special guests flown in and at what cost?
Was it all paid for using RFSA funds that were generated from generous public donations and raffle ticket sales?
How many new style firefighting helmets, radios or other much sought after items could this event (and others like it) have funded?
Perhaps those who have made donations and purchased raffle tickets will think twice before doing so again unless the RFSA provides a great deal more transparency.
Rural communities are not impressed. The VFFA campaign to put the RURAL back into the Rural Fire Service will continue…. the next state election will be interesting.
There has been some discussion (even in NSW) about the implications of setting up an independent fire service.
When you look back in time, at the way that the NSW RFS began, it seems to have gone full circle:
1. Neighbours pooling resources and working together to protect themselves and each other from the threat of fire.
2. A larger group of people working together as above but forming a brigade that is supported by local government.
3. A state based organisation working with local governments to support local brigades.
4. The state based organisation builds an empire that looses focus upon the reason they are their in the first place.
5. The state based organisation grows bigger with bureaucracy and over complication clouding their ability to properly serve those local brigades.
6. Local brigades get frustrated.
7. Experienced people often leave.
8. Neighbours consider pooling resources and working together to protect themselves and each other from the threat of fire.
The Wambelong fire of January 2013, burnt out the Warrumbungle National Park, destroyed scores of surrounding properties and shattered the lives of many people in the Coonabarabran community.
The subsequent Coronial Inquest and Parliamentary Inquiry made 52 recommendations.
It has taken well over three years for the government to respond to the recommendations, this article looks at some of the local responses from the Coonabarabran community.
Feel free to add your comments.
Bushfire Bombers – RFS Style is an article that first appeared on the SOS News web site. It was published in 2007 and is very relevant today.
This unbelievable story could be about the rise of the RFS Empire, the corruption that exists in the bushfire industry, bullying and harassment at numerous levels, the disturbing fact that fighting bushfires has become BIG BUSINESS and then there is the aviation context.
This disturbing story helps to explain how the RFS has developed into the “out of control” bureaucracy that has lost touch with its grass roots. Comments are most welcome.