There are a lot of volunteers who are getting a bit tired of the “Blue Shirt” issue, they care about their volunteer service, looking after their local community and getting on with the job.
Ridiculous statements from the NSW RFS claiming that the new yellow shirt is 4% safer are more of an insult to the intelligence of our volunteers.
The RFS Commissioner provided the following information about the yellow shirts:
Using a specialised heat-testing mannequin fitted with over 100 sensors, comparison testing between the blue and yellow shirts confirmed that the lighter colour shirt, when worn under bushfire PPC, reduced burn injury rates by up to 4% compared to the darker colour. While this may seem a small margin, it is in fact a considerable reduction. We would not be acting in the best interests of our members to ignore such a result.
Most volunteers just wear sensible clothing under their PPE, they don’t put on an RFS shirt (blue or yellow)
Why continue this fight?
Question: If many volunteers don’t really care about the blue or yellow shirt then why should we continue to push this issue?
Answer: This is a bigger issue that the colour of a shirt. The NSW RFS makes these silly decisions without consultation, without consideration of how their decisions might impact upon their volunteers and at a huge cost to YOU (anyone in NSW who pays insurance, council rates and taxes).
The State Government has wasted well over $750,000.00 on this yellow shirt project.
Even when they say that they will provide one shirt for every volunteer, they failed to consider how irresponsible that statement really is. Many NSW RFS Districts, Teams and Zones do not have the budget to fund the yellow shirts, these “free shirts” will come at a cost to many rural areas.
“I will not be banning volunteers from wearing blue drill shirts”
The NSW RFS Commissioner stated that he will not be banning volunteers from wearing blue drill shirts (October, 2009) Click on the icon below to view that Media Release.
But he has gone back on his word with the following St Patrick’s Parade Expression of Interest (EOI).
2015 St Patrick’s Parade
The NSW RFS will again take part in the Sydney St Patrick’s Parade on Sunday 15 March 2015.
Our participation in the parade is two-fold; to promote and educate the community about the work the RFS does and; to support, and celebrate cultural diversity within our membership, in particular our Irish members and their heritage.
The NSW RFS entry will reflect the professional nature of the RFS; comprising of the NSW RFS Pipes and Drums, followed the Protocol Team and a walking group. NSW RFS staff and volunteers interested in participating in the 2014 parade are invited to send their details (name, contact number, email, District and/or Brigade) to: Executive.Support@rfs.nsw.gov.au
Prospective entrants should be aware that this is a highly visible media event. To ensure a professional and consistent look for our parade, participants will be required to wear RFS field wear (yellow shirt, trousers, jacket and RFS cap)
The RFS Code of Conduct applies to all staff and volunteers during this event. Participants will be provided with participation guidelines prior to the date.
Further details regarding meeting locations, times etc will be communicated to participants after the EOI closing date, however you will need to be available to meet in Sydney from approximately 11am onwards.
EOI’s close COB on Monday 10 March 2015. Any questions regarding the event can be directed to: Executive.Support@rfs.nsw.gov.au
What if our volunteers don’t have a yellow shirt?
Perhaps if we mix up the blues and the yellows we might create a St Patrick’s green tinge to the parade.
Please remember that the NSW State elections are fast approaching, this article is only about a yellow shirt – or is it?
Have your say when you vote.
Please consider this: NSW Volunteer Firefighters urgently need their own legislated body to openly raise issues with the NSW RFS. NSW is the only State in Australia that does not have legislated representation for it’s Volunteer workforce.