Friday 10 December, 2004 Number 327 NSWFB The Rumour Mill No (02) 9265 2627

Dignity & Respect in the Workplace Charter
On Wednesday I joined the Assistant General Secretary of the Public Service Association, Steve Turner and Gemma Lowe from the FBEU to sign the Dignity & Respect in the Workplace Charter.

The Charter underlines a commitment by the NSWFB and unions to a workplace that provides dignity and respect to all employees. The NSWFB has a zero tolerance policy to bullying and harassment at work and will undertake a workplace policy of:

• workplace consultation
• awareness
• training, development, and
• procedures to deal with complaints

The charter is a further step in the process to establish a NSWFB anti-bullying policy which will guarantee respect and dignity in the workplace for all employees. I am personally committed to this, and want the message to be understood by everybody that no form of harassment, bullying or intimidation will be tolerated by the NSWFB.

Resignation of union secretary
It was announced yesterday that Chris Read, Secretary/Treasurer of the Fire Brigade Employees Union, has tendered his resignation. Chris will transfer to an Industrial Officer’s role. I know from the 10 years that I spent as a member of the Union’s State Council that the role of a Union official can be a thankless one. While Chris and I have not always seen eye to eye, I respect his energy, commitment, and in particular, his dedication to his family. Whether or not people agree with everything the Union has done in the past there is no question that Chris has been a strong and capable leader. I wish him all the best in his new role, and congratulate Station Officer Craig Harris on his election as the new Secretary/Treasurer.

Yesterday I welcomed 20 new recruit firefighters to the ranks of the NSWFB. Amongst the new graduates was Firefighter Jonathon McKay. At the previous graduation ceremony I presented him with a Commissioner’s Commendation for his actions as a member of the public at the Roundhouse Childcare Centre accident last year.

National Medals and First Clasps were also presented. The list of recipients are below:

National Medal
Station Officer Jeffry Roche
Station Officer Stuart Sutton
Station Officer Rob Caldwell
Senior Firefighter Jim Shackleton

First Clasp
Chief Superintendent Michael Ryan
Station Officer Richard Montgomery
Station Officer Kerry Doherty

Yass transformer fire
Just before 10pm on Monday night, 511 Yass responded to a transformer alight at the Yass substation. The fire involved cooling oil from a 330Kv transformer in a bunded area. Captain Alan Carey liaised with TransGrid personnel to confirm power to the incident area had been isolated before crews entered.

A foam attack commenced and the fire was quickly knocked down. Zone Commander South 7, Superintendent Steve Davis ordered that the bunded area be flooded in order to complete extinguishment of the timber transformer supports. The spilled oil and firefighting water was contained on site. There was no interruption to the Yass power supply.

Firefighters from 511 Yass, 232 Boorowa and 305 Goulburn attended the five-hour incident. The recently signed MOU with the ACT Emergency Service Board was tested when the ACT Fire Brigade was put on stand-by to provide additional foam if necessary. In this instance their assistance was not required.

Senior Rescue Instructors

Senior Rescue Instructors (SRI) are based at the Greenacre Rescue Section. A SRI was recently asked by a firefighter whether they spent most of their day checking the level of oil in hydraulic pumps. Thankfully nothing could be further from the truth.

The main role of an SRI is to train permanent and retained firefighters at primary rescue stations in how to conduct rescues. This includes re-certifications, skills maintenance and the introduction of new equipment. When time permits this also includes training at other or secondary rescue stations.

In country areas the SRIs conduct primary rescue training in clusters of adjoining country stations. This is done so that new firefighters at country primary rescue stations are trained to the required level, while existing firefighters receive valuable skills maintenance.

The Rescue Section has been delivering Cat 2 USAR courses for some time now. SRI’s also staff the response of USAR 1 and USAR 4, the NSWFB’s major structural collapse unit and USAR Recon vehicles. Another of their roles is to provide on-call resources at night and weekends to respond to incidents.

SRIs regularly respond to major incidents as operational support or technical advisors. Examples include the recent over-turned crane, a worker trapped in a collapsed trench and a truck that crashed into a row of shops.

SRIs sit on a number of committees, carry out R&D projects, and conduct specialised training in all areas of technical rescue, including vertical, USAR, confined space and all land-based rescue operations. During major bushfires and natural disasters SRIs are used to support field operations and provide logistics support to task forces and strike teams.

Festive season fire safety

This year’s Festive Season fire safety campaign is being held over the next two weeks, and is a great chance to inform the community on precautions to take during the festive season.
The 2004 Festive Season fire safety campaign materials can be downloaded from the Intranet. Materials include:

· Template media release
· Fact sheet
· Media relations tips

The Festive Season fire safety campaign can be promoted to your local community through radio, television and newspapers using the local media release.

For further information regarding the 2004 Festive Season fire safety campaign contact your regional Community Risk Management Officer or Public Affairs Officer.

Brigade Kids back in time for Christmas
The Brigade Kids CDROM is a tool and toy developed to entertain and inform 5 to 12 year old children about fire safety. Temporarily out of stock, Brigades Kids is now available again on ESCAT. The Catalogue Number is 06465 with a $4.00 distribution and management cost per pack of five.

Developed by the Public Affairs and Communication Strategy Unit the CD contains quizzes, games, videos, interviews with firefighters, photos for school projects, colour-ins, puzzles, safety facts in seven languages, links to the NSWFB and Museum of Fire websites. But wait there’s more. A cyber explorer even hot-links to the best kids’ fire safety sites worldwide.

Fax your orders to (02) 9743 8603.

NSWFB Heat v NSW Police basketball game

The NSWFB men’s basketball team, the Heat, will play a charity fundraiser against the NSW Police before the Sydney Kings versus Townsville Crocodiles basketball game on 2 January 2005. With the match being held over the New Year period, it’s sure to be a sell out. Police Commissioner Ken Moroney and I will be there to cheer on our respective teams.

The Kings are offering a very special deal for NSWFB employees with more than 50% off the general admission ticket price. The evening’s entertainment costs just $16 with ticket prices usually $40. Five dollars from every ticket purchased through the NSWFB will be donated to the Burns Unit at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

In a special deal for NSWFB Sports Association members, the first five members from each roster to email and tell them the name of the NSWFB basketball team will receive two free tickets to the game. Just make sure you tell us which roster (i.e. Platoon, day work, back to back) you are on and that you’re not working that night!

So show your support for your fellow firefighters or just come to watch two great NBL teams in action. The team trained yesterday and will be having another training session at City of Sydney gym on Tuesday 14 December at 10am. Contact Tim Hickey on 0408 414 605 or Jaison Singh on 0417 659 232 for tickets, event information or if you are interested in playing.

Firefighters racing for charity
Outside his duties as a firefighter, Firefighter John Lennon from 30 Lidcombe is engaged in elite level triathlon coaching and competition as part of the Human Endurance Racing Team (HERT). HERT is a high performance coaching organisation run by Mark Newton (triathlon World Champion and Olympic Coach) and FF Lennon.

HERT supports children’s charity foundations by helping them raise funds at sporting events. Their fundraising efforts aim to provide positive experiences for everyone involved - athletes, sponsors, partners and charities - and develop a strong community network through sporting endeavours.

In April 2005, HERT is competing at the Australian Ironman Triathlon with the aim to raise $50,000 for the Burns Unit at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Last Friday HERT held a Celebrity Charity Auction Dinner at the Randwick-Coogee RSL Club. Many elite athletes and personalities donated their time, money and items for auction.

If you can help FF Lennon in any way, please contact him at 30 Lidcombe.

Australia Day Tri-Service Challenge
Entries are now being accepted for the 2004 Tri-Service Challenge. The 3.5km surfboard paddle starts at Sydney Opera House at 8.30am and finishes at Blues Point Reserve. Almost 1,000 competitors took part in last year’s paddle, including nine firefighters who took out the Tri-Service Challenge title and we’re expecting even greater numbers this year as we attempt to win it for the second year running.

The trophy is kept on display at Head Office and I’m expecting NSWFB pride to ensure it doesn’t go anywhere.

If you’d like to be part of the NSWFB team, please email the NSWFB Sports Association at and they’ll send you an entry form.

Commissioner’s e-mail:
Cora Sarmiento, Commish’s PA: 9265 2930
PACSU: fax 9265 2882
Commish’s Corner Rumour Mill: 9265 2627
To contribute a story, please contact Public Affairs Officers: Stephen Norris (West) 9265 2613 or John Suter Linton/Tippy Kavalee (South/North) 9265 2802