ACT firefighter August 10, 2012
An anonymous firefighter, not pictured here, has issued a letter, promising to protect Canberra communities. Photo: Jeffrey Chan JCC
A Canberra firefighter with 30 years’ experience wants people to know what their community firies do beyond the call of duty. Here is his letter to all Canberrans:
Have you ever attended a young man hanging himself in his family garage?
Have you ever attended to a Cardiac arrested Grandparent at his family home and had his family members scream at you because they didn't call for you?
Have you attended a drug overdose, wiped the vomit out of the mouth, cleared away the needles and commenced CPR?
No? I have, and I am a firefighter!
Here in your city, Canberra.
Why do I do this? Because we firefighters are located strategically in the city to respond to all emergencies, we respond to medical emergencies because there are NO Ambulances available.
The current practice of moving fire appliances out of our response area is bigger than just driving to Hume to train. It also includes sending crews and trucks to monitor burnt houses (known as 'a fire duty').
This leaves areas, standard homes and businesses unprotected.
Here are two 'fire duty' examples:
Why? Think back to the Gungahlin bridge collapse or the Mitchell fire or any motor vehicle accident or industrial accident.
Response times are critical to saving lives, but apparently firefighters must leave our response areas to sit in a classroom in Hume with two or three appliances at a time , not just one appliance or area but multiple areas, leaving Canberra's families under-protected.
This issue is bigger than driving to Hume as the Minister would have you believe. It's about protecting Canberra communities 24 hours, seven days a week.
And Mr Corbell, next time you're at an official opening, such as last weekend's hospital opening, don't do the walk of “hope-they-don't-see-me”, ignoring the two fire crews parked at the entrance. Come over and say hello.