BULLETIN

Bulletin No:          225                            Volume:  21                           Thursday 19 November 2015

To ALL UFU MEMBERS

NEW CLIMATE REPORT

SOUNDS GLOBAL ALARM

FOR FIREFIGHTING

UFU members have been active today in responding to a new report which warns that the increased globalisation of bushfires will impact locally on community safety, cost, and firefighting resources.

The Climate Council today released a report “The burning issue: climate change and the Australian bushfire threat” which details the global phenomenon of the lengthening fire season (by nearly 19 per cent since 1979-2013).

UFU members/professional firefighters have fronted regional media interest and were involved in the launch of the report in Melbourne today.

The overlap of the fire seasons of the northern and southern hemisphere means Australia will have difficulty leasing firefighting aircraft because they are still needed in the northern hemisphere.

It is an alarming chilling thought that the increased frequency and severity of bushfires in the United States could impact on our ability to tackle fires in Australia. Locally the early onset of the fire season this year places great strain on the community – and a shorter period for preventative measures such as controlled burns.

As members are well aware, the longer fire season – and overseas and interstate deployments – the greater the demand and strain on professional firefighters.

The cross pollinisation of knowledge and expertise is of great benefit but comes at a cost of the increased demand on firefighters.

Fire agencies have increasingly needed to rely on shared firefighters over the past decade. For example, in late 2013, three States sent firefighters to tackle 627 fires in NSW, while in July this year Australia sent 107 firefighters to Canada.

Today’s Climate Change Report provides further grounds for the need for the increase in firefighters and effective interoperability between fire services.  The lack of effective interoperability in Victoria has been a catastrophic failure under the Fire Service Commissioner’s office as serious interoperability issues identified by the UFU have not been addressed in a timely manner.

Strength in Unity

READ OUT AT MUSTER AND PIN ON NOTICE BOARD

Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary