Conference 2003, Physical Competency Assessment

Conference 2003

Conference 2003 was very successfully held in Auckland 9–11 December.
Presentations included:

  • Russell Fairbrother on behalf of George Hawkins, Minister of Internal Affairs.
  • Sergeant Mike Beale – N.Z. Police, on the Fire Service’s role in dealing with clandestine drug labs particularly those manufacturing methamphetamine. Mike noted the very significant increase in the number of these labs being detected. He emphasized the dangers involved, considering the type and storage of the various chemicals involved.
  • Mike Hall, who spoke on the Review of the Fire Service presently underway with an expected outcome of a Fire Service Bill for next year.
  • Innotech – This was an Australian Company developing high-tech equipment for firefighters. The presentation covered two products:
    1. Guardian Communications - This is a radio system able to be connected either directly to a helmet, or to a B.A. face mask.
    2. Guardian Incident Control Unit - This is a computerized Incident Control System that allows rapid communication of Incident Ground Information.

As well as the usual matters considered (e.g. Protective Clothing, Occupational Health & Safety), a matter of concern raised by Delegates was the operation of the Fire Service
Claims Management Unit, arising out of the A.C.C. Partnership Programme.

Collective Agreement, Ratification Meetings, Policies, Working Parties, Service Holidays

Collective Agreement

Consequent on the ratification of the Collective Agreement, the Agreement has now been signed.

The Union understands the new rates of pay will be implemented on the Payday 29 October (Pay 16) – and the backpay back to 1 July 2003 will also be paid that day. That backpay will include overtime worked since 1 July as well as any allowances claimed.

Relief Appliances

Members will be aware that the state of Arapawa’s appliances are in a shocking state. When appliances have to go off the run for various reasons and relief appliances are obtained, members are advised to be very vigilant as to the worthiness of these relief trucks.

Do not accept inferior equipment at any stage, especially appliances. Check the vehicles out thoroughly, test the pump. Lets make sure we don’t “make do” This is what management are doing and relying on us to do.

If it means that there are no more relief pumps at all, then that has to be, Ring your Union representative and ring the Chief Fire Officer and ask him where are they going to get another appliance from.

This is especially interesting when some composite stn volunteer pumps are K’0’d during the day and still have trouble responding at nightsand some stand alone volunteer stations have 2 pumps.

It would be extremely embarrassing for management to be asked why a crew of four paid to be at work were not able to respond in a fire appliance to a call when the volunteer stn down the road had 2 sitting there doing nothing.

Please be vigilant and aware