Friday 26 November, 2004 Number 325 NSWFB The Rumour Mill No (02) 9265 2627

2004 IPP
On Wednesday I had the pleasure of presenting helmets to the 17 graduates from the 2004 IPP. The course is extremely demanding, but they met every challenge put to them, and I commend them on their achievements.

While the course is demanding, it gives the graduates a comprehensive grounding in the challenges they will face when they go out to work in regions and directorates across the NSWFB.

These graduates are the future leaders of the NSWFB, and I am very excited about the contribution they will make to our future direction. Congratulations to all the graduates and a special thank you to their families for their support during the course.

Busy day for 8 Liverpool
Commish’s Corner gives me a chance to communicate regularly with everyone in the NSWFB, and I often receive emails from members about what they’re up to. Keep them coming!

One such recent email came from A Platoon Operational Commander W6, Inspector Ron Love, recounting a series of incidents 8 Liverpool handled in the one day. These included attending a ruptured underground fuel tank, releasing a woman’s hand trapped in a mincing machine, and a hazmat incident involving exposure to organo-phosphate, all at the same location!

Inspector Love reports the A Platoon firefighters handled the incidents well.

Parramatta Shop Fire

Just after 5am on Wednesday, fire crews were called to a fire at a variety shop in the Church Street Mall at Parramatta. 27 Parramatta’s crew were on scene within eight minutes and were confronted with a two level building filled with highly combustible materials and a well-advanced fire burning on the ground floor.

A 4th Alarm was called because of concerns that the fire was spreading into the buildings on either side. Despite a floor and roof collapse, fire crews aggressively attacked the blaze, taking more than four hours to contain the situation.

The building and its contents were extensively damaged, however, due to the professional actions of our crews, the surrounding premises escaped with only minor damage. One firefighter sustained a cut to his hand during entry procedures with a power saw. He was taken to Westmead Hospital and released shortly after.

Ellie off her feet
Yes, the rumours are true. Our K-9 Ellie took a turn for the worse in recent days. After a quick trip to the vet’s and some tender loving care, she’s almost back to her arson sniffing best.

She’s currently on sick leave and will return to light duties before taking up full operational service in a couple of weeks. It is not true that Ellie has been acting as Commissioner while I have been attending meetings in Melbourne for the last two days.

Relief & Welfare Fund

With the Relief & Welfare Fund holding its AGM shortly, it seemed appropriate to run this feedback from members. One firefighter from 24 Manly almost had his world collapse around him recently when a truck crashed into the side of a shop rendering the building unsafe and in danger of collapsing. The firefighter lived in the premises above the shop and had meals and accommodation in a motel organised thanks to the Relief & Welfare Fund.

The firefighter has asked me to extend his thanks to the Inspector and the Relief & Welfare Fund for their assistance in ensuring his family had a roof over their head at such a tough time.

The firefighter has told me that $1 per pay is not missed and while he thought he would never need to call on this assistance, this mishap proved that you never know what is around the corner.

I was also recently contacted by another firefighter who explained that he always felt the fund was a great concept, even if he never had to access any of the services.

Earlier this year he had to access the services (hospitality unit) and he told me that without the help he and his family received, their stay in Sydney would have been very difficult both financially and emotionally. He said the hospitality unit gave the homely feel that helped them get through a difficult time.

He conveyed his thanks and appreciation to all the members because it is their contributions that keep the fund going.

We never know when we may need help, but becoming a member of the Relief & Welfare Fund is a very cheap way of having that little bit of extra insurance, and helping out your workmates at the same time.

White Ribbon Day
Yesterday was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and UNIFEM Australia coordinated the event. The initiative highlights an important issue in our communities and deserves widespread support. UNIFEM Australia encouraged people to wear a white ribbon in support of the cause.

Zoo passes
Many staff may be unaware that as sponsors of the otters at Taronga Zoo, the NSWFB has a number of free family passes available to all current and retired NSWFB employees, whether they be permanent, retained, admin or trades staff. The passes are available from region offices and provide free entry not only to Taronga Zoo, but also to the Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo.

CareFlight Fundraiser

This Sunday from 10am, the Australian Aviation Museum at Bankstown Airport is raising money for the CareFlight helicopter. There will be a display of helicopters and planes, including our own Fire Air One and the Erickson Air-Crane (Elvis). Family and friends are all welcome.

Drive to Survive Forum
On Wednesday 1 December at 7pm, a public forum is being held at Warringah Council Chambers, with support from NSWFB, Police, Ambulance and Royal North Shore Hospital Trauma Unit to raise awareness among young drivers (17 to 25) of the consequences of speeding, drink driving, seat belt use and overcrowding. If you know any young drivers who would like to attend, please book a place by phoning (02) 9942 2447.

World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day is commemorated around the globe on 1 December. It celebrates progress made in the battle against the epidemic.

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused by infection with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). AIDS includes a number of illnesses that a person can develop because his or her immune system is weakened by HIV infection.

HIV is not spread through casual contact at school, home, or the work place. For more information contact Health Services on 1800 425 282 or the AIDS Council of New South Wales (ACON) on 9206 2000. Alternatively you could visit:

A few hoops for the kids
The NSW Fire Brigades Basketball Club has been invited to play against NSW Police before the Sydney Kings versus West Sydney Razorbacks basketball game on 2 January 2005. The Kings and Razorbacks have one of the biggest rivalries in the NBL, and the match is sure to be a sell out as basketball fans from across Sydney converge on the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

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.

So show your support for your fellow firefighters or just come and watch Sydney’s two NBL teams in action. Contact Tim Hickey on 0408 414 605 or Jaison Singh on 0417 659 232 for tickets and event information.

Commissioner’s e-mail:
Cora Sarmiento, Commish’s PA:
9265 2930
fax 9265 2882
Commish’s Corner Rumour Mill:
9265 2627

To contribute a story, please contact Public Affairs Officers:
Stephen Norris (West) 9265 2613, Natalie Laharnar (North) 9265 2631 or John Suter Linton/Tippy Kavalee (South) 9265 2802