Friday 11 August 2006 Number 394 NSWFB The Rumour Mill No (02) 9265 2627

Acting Commissioner
I will be on leave from 11 to 21 August, and Deputy Commissioner John
Benson will step in as Acting Commissioner while I am away.

Appointments to Director positions
I am pleased to announce a number of appointments to Director positions
as part of the restructure. From 15 September 2006, Assistant
Commissioner Bob Dobson will take on the role of Director Metropolitan
Operations, Assistant Commissioner Graham Dewsnap will be Director
Specialised Operations and Assistant Commissioner Murray Kear will
assume the role of Director Risk Management. The role of Director
Regional Operations has been advertised, and will be filled within the
next 2 months.

US Bushfire deployment
Inspector Glenn Launt, will today leave for the USA as part of a force
of 11 firefighters from NSW and a contingent of 50 personnel from
Australia and New Zealand to help manage bushfires in the north western
states of America. Inspector Launt, who was chosen for his NSWFB
experience in managing structural and bush fires, will be a divisional
supervisor (Sector Commander) for up to 35 days. Five RFS, three NPWS
and two Forests NSW firefighters are also part of the NSW contingent. It
will be a valuable experience for Glenn and I wish him all the best.

CFU handovers
On Monday 31 July one of the state's newest CFUs at Queanbeyan
received a visit from our Minister, Tony Kelly, who handed over their
uniforms and trailer and recognised their training and dedication to the
CFU program. Tony also paid a visit to 428 Queanbeyan on Tuesday 1
August to meet the crew. On Wednesday 2 August Indigenous Affairs
Minister Milton Orkopoulos handed over an all-Aboriginal CFU at Windang
in the Illawarra. Fittingly, this CFU was formally recognised on the
International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, 9 August. Many
thanks to Terry Munsey from Bushfire, Inspector Chris Bond S5, Inspector
Jay Bland S3, and many others behind the scenes for organising such
successful ministerial visits.

Revised Media Kit
The Media Kit, a resource for all fire stations to help you spread
NSWFB messages in the media, has been updated and can now be accessed
from Station Portal. You can obtain all the community safety campaign
materials as well as template media releases on almost 30 topics from
this one page. I encourage all stations to be proactive in publicising
fire safety and the work of the NSWFB. Contact your Public Affairs
Officer if you need any assistance using the Media Kit or dealing with
the media.

Hero firefighter recognised by family
SO (John) Carlos Henry, who rescued three-year-old Tyler Jameson from
his burning home at Kingswood while off duty two weeks ago, has been
personally thanked by the boy's family for saving two lives. At a
touching reunion at Penrith Fire Station last week, Tyler's father,
David, claimed SO Henry also saved his life by dragging him out of the
house. Tyler is reported to have been excited to see SO Henry and other
firefighters who attended the incident, but maybe not as much as he was
about climbing over the pumper.

Newcastle Firefighters Ball
Congratulations to the organising committee of the Newcastle
Firefighters Ball, which this year raised $10,000 for children's
charities in Newcastle. My wife Erris and I were not able to attend the
ball this year, but from all accounts it was a great night. The funds
raised at the ball will be added to $10,000 in wage deductions, making a
total of $20,000 for distribution to John Hunter Children's Hospital
Newcastle, Hunter Kidsafe and K.I.D.S Foundation for Burns Survivors.

Your predecessor in CC 203 2002 and in CC 237 2003 replied to
rumours that a Retained Fire Fighter Reform Committee was looking into
retained firefighter staffing levels. It is now four years down the
track and there is still no progress regarding retained firefighter
staffing levels nor any word from a Retained Firefighter Reform

The staffing strength at retained stations as per the Standing Orders
was never designed for a first class 21st century fire service yet it
seems ridiculous that the standard staffing for a retained station is
still 12 with some stations call rates increasing by >4% per year with
the standard NSWFB response being to install (costly) permanents.

Is it true there was never a Retained Firefighter Reform Committee?

If there is, when can we expect some real outcomes?

Response: A Retained Firefighter Reform Committee was established in
2002 to review the Retained Firefighter Structure including staffing
levels. The Committee, which was comprised of a cross section of the
NSWFB, provided a report to the Corporate Executive Group in November
2002 which suggested possible response models for different categories
of retained brigades.

The Retained Firefighter structure contains many variables and
complexities that cannot be resolved by simply changing or adding
numbers. Additionally, many areas of the report required additional
research and involved significant industrial relations issues that
needed to be discussed with the FBEU. A major challenge we face is
recruiting and maintaining adequate numbers of Retained Firefighters in
some regional areas, a problem not only for the NSWFB, but for all
community based emergency services. The process of ensuring we continue
to provide the best possible protection of the community through the
allocation and distribution of our services is currently being finalised
through the NSWFB Service Delivery Strategy. The executive restructure
is also intended to provide a better management focus on retained issues
which will better inform discussions with the FBEU.

Smoke alarms do save lives
MVA stops traffic in Rushcutters Bay
Watering hole in Tumut saved
Tarcutta Fondue
Table Top not required for this scenario

HMAS Platypus exercise

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 to the intranet, please contact Public Affairs Officers: (West) 9265 2613, (South) 9265 2802 or (North) 9265 2631