Bulletin No:          006                                      Volume:  20                        Tuesday 14 January 2014

To All UFU Members



Yesterday the MFB contacted the UFU regarding a current industrial matter and subsequently stated that it would be forwarding correspondence regarding an enhanced EMR response due to current climatic conditions.

Subsequently the correspondence confirmed that the MFB wished to explore deploying firefighters to heat-related medical stress calls.

The UFU made inquiries and we were informed that firefighters EMR training did not include the capabilities to appropriately deal with such medical emergencies and would inadvertently place the community and firefighters at risk.

The UFU sought advice from medical experts and persons in development of the EMR programme and were informed that any such deployment would result in the above situation.

The UFU and its members are always willing to assist the public but our advice is that to deploy firefighters in these circumstances would put the public and firefighters at an unacceptable risk

Subsequently the UFU notified a grievance and requested an urgent meeting with the MFB.  The Acting Chief Officer has agreed to convene an urgent meeting of the EMR sub-committee and advised the UFU it will not be proceeding with these deployments while the matter is being dealt with by the sub-committee.

We respect the Acting Chief Officer for taking the appropriate action after being notified of these serious concerns and having the matter discussed with urgency in the committee process while honouring the dispute process.

We have been advised that heat exhaustion and medical heat stress conditions require intravenous intervention and medical treatment and training that is beyond the current MFB EMR capabilities.  As members are aware the EMR relies upon a simultaneous response of a fire truck and an ambulance however, the above situation would result in deploying firefighters who would be unable to act while waiting for an ambulance to arrive on scene.

The UFU will work diligently with the MFB to find a solution to this serious issue but in the event that the MFB should attempt to deploy firefighters external to the current training and competency structures please contact UFU immediately.


Strength in Unity


Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary