The association has long lobbied for Breathing Apparatus (BA) to be made available to Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades that can demonstrate a need and willingness to utilise this life-saving equipment.
Along with a number of other inexplicable historical anomalies we are working with government to fix, bush fire brigades are currently being told they cannot access Breathing Apparatus equipment, infrastructure or training, despite it being fully funded and supported for every other volunteer fire service.
Members and regular readers will be well-aware that we believe the new Minister, Commissioner and senior DFES staff like AC Brad Delavale have shown good faith in working with us to try to resolve many of these issues and we are very appreciative of the recent positive change.
However, the fact is this one isn’t yet fixed and every day our members turn out to rubbish fires, car fires and structure fires – the smoke from which are all proven to cause cancer.
They do so with no option but to be exposed to known carcinogens, while their volunteer colleagues working alongside from other services, are able to be fully equipped with breathing apparatus whenever the situation requires it.
Take a look at the two photos of the incident below – the first of an unprotected Bush Fire Volunteer and the other showing two Fire and Emergency Services volunteers fighting the same fire with full breathing apparatus.
We know that not every brigade needs BA. And we know that not every volunteer wants to be trained and equipped for the use of BA.
But we also know that Brigades who demonstrate a need and willingness to protect themselves against cancer and other inevitable injuries have long been refused access to this essential life-saving personal protective equipment.
If your Brigade would like to have access to BA, please zip us a short email now.
And congratulations to the ladies and gents from East Gidgegannup VBFB and Wanneroo Fire Support Brigade for giving up your Sunday to assist at this dangerous rubbish fire.