Bulletin No: 048 Volume: 24 Monday 26 March 2018
To: All UFU MEMBERS
NEW JOINT CFA AND MFB BREATHING APPARATUS TO BE ROLLED OUT LEADING TO ENHANCED INTEROPERABILITY AND FIREFIGHTER SAFETY
Following over 3 years of committed work, last week the agencies announced the introduction of common breathing apparatus across the both MFB and CFA leading to enhanced firefighter safety and increased interoperability between the agencies.
This new self-contained breathing apparatus will mean firefighters from both CFA and MFB will be able to use breathing apparatus interchangeably during joint operations which is a massive step in the move to interoperability between the services.
It has been an objective of the Union, in particular since the recommendations published in the 1994 Public Bodies Review Committee’s Parliamentary Inquiry, that interoperability between CFA and MFB professional firefighters be pursued.
In 1994, the PBRC made the following recommendation:
2.2 OPERATING STANDARDS
The Committee recommends that, following the development of standards of fire cover, related standards be established for:
- Location of buildings;
- Selection of equipment;
- Identification of manpower resources;
Until recently, despite the recommendations from the PBRC findings in 1994, both MFB and CFA embarked upon separate procurement processes for equipment which often resulted in equipment being incompatible. This, of course, limited the potential to maximise the full extent of the fire service operations, for example where CFA professional firefighters and MFB professional firefighters may be involved wearing BA in a joint firefighting operation but their BA was not compatible.
This recent BA project was led by a joint working group of CFA and MFB management representatives along with UFU representatives to ensure that firefighters across both services got the best equipment available for their protection.
The process to develop the tender, go to market and select a product has taken over three years of dedicated work from your representatives Rob Psaila, Tony Martin, James Kefalas and Andrew Marmion. Further, dozens of end users and subject matters experts also were involved in the evaluation and selection process. The UFU thanks all those involved for their ongoing efforts. We note that there is still significant work to be done in delivering this project and we thank those who will continue to participate.
As you are aware, along with your PPC, your BA set is the last bastion of defence for firefighters in their protection on the fireground. As such it was absolutely vital that we ensured that the agencies purchased the best available product to provide for your health and safety.
The UFU is now participating in a committee to ensure that the agencies continue on this path and ensure common training and SOPs are introduced in relation to the use of these new BA’s.
The first sets are expected to arrive by May 2018, with training and deployment planned for the following months.
Strength in Unity
READ OUT AT MUSTER AND PIN ON NOTICE BOARD
Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary