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  1. #1
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    Question Australian Bushfires

    Is it true that the Canadian and US Firefighters who were brought to Australia to assist in fighting the Bushfires were paid hundreds of Dollars per day whilst working alongside Australian Unpaid Volunteers?


  2. #2
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    Cool Why the surprise........

    I personally know numerous FFs from the USFS that went to Australia to assist with their fires. The USFS (Forest Service) range from Seasonals to Career FFs. The guys I know are all Career FFs, Engineers, Assistant Engineers or AO, Captains and Chiefs.

    I don't understand the surprise in your post though. There are hundreds if not thousands of Career Departments that run with Volunteer Departments everyday and vise versa. If you have both types of Departments in Australia, then I can almost guarantee that this has happened at least once.

    Would you suggest that since we sent some Professional FFs that the Departments should absorb all the costs associated with fire fighting? I can see that if we all had an Automatic or Mutual Aid System with each other..... but we don't and it's not realistic. We can't even get Departments in the U.S. to fully cooperate, what makes us think we can get our agreements across the ponds?

    Please expand on what your thoughts are here......
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyboy View Post
    .......I don't understand the surprise in your post though....

    ....Please expand on what your thoughts are here......
    Expand on my thoughts...hmmm.

    Firstly, I cannot see how you could interpret the surprise in my post as at that stage all I asked was a question.

    Secondly, my question was placed in the Australian/New Zealand Forum for a reason and that was to attract a reply from the members of the Volunteer Fire Brigades and State Emergency Service who fought the Fires in Victoria.

    There was no criticism of the Firefighters who came from Canada, New Zealand and the US and I cannot understand why you are on the defensive.

    Here is a Link to the News Report that led to my question and I am particularly interested to hear the views of any Metropolitan Fire Brigade member.

    Click Here For Report

  4. #4
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    Default Not defensive here.........

    I'm not being defensive....... you asked a question and somebody...... me, is trying to give an answer to the best of my knowledge.

    Wow, maybe I should have short answered you.......... here......... Yes. LOL
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

  5. #5
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    Wink NSW Perspective

    As a Retained Firey from nth of the boder myself and many of my fellow brothers/sisters were a bit perterbed that we were not utilised in this situation.
    Many of us were able and willing to travel to Vic to help out - yes we would have been paid under our award but were told that we were not permitted to go as the RFS (Rural fire service) had sent enough guys - now only a handful of RFS are trained in structural FF and correct property protection particulary the use of BFFF - WE ARE......
    no offense but a couple of people from each retained station could have been used to make up crews on spare tankers - and we could have been onsite a lot quicker that someone coming from the US. We also have the exeprience and knowledge about the Australian bush-- Hell, most of us were fresh off a month of Bushfires in the Blue Mountains in NSW

    Why weren't we utilised ........ the best four letter work of them all
    POLITICS!!

    Anyways
    Keep on smilin and dialin!

  6. #6
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMtnsFirey View Post
    As a Retained Firey from nth of the boder myself and many of my fellow brothers/sisters were a bit perterbed that we were not utilised in this situation.
    Many of us were able and willing to travel to Vic to help out - yes we would have been paid under our award but were told that we were not permitted to go as the RFS (Rural fire service) had sent enough guys - now only a handful of RFS are trained in structural FF and correct property protection particulary the use of BFFF - WE ARE......
    no offense but a couple of people from each retained station could have been used to make up crews on spare tankers - and we could have been onsite a lot quicker that someone coming from the US. We also have the exeprience and knowledge about the Australian bush-- Hell, most of us were fresh off a month of Bushfires in the Blue Mountains in NSW

    Why weren't we utilised ........ the best four letter work of them all
    POLITICS!!

    Anyways
    Keep on smilin and dialin!
    Yes BlueMtnsFirey, it just doesn't make sense to me, bringing in Firefighters from Canada and the US and paying them hundreds of dollars a day to do what many Australian Firefighters could do; jeez we've been fighting bushfires for long enough without having to bring in people from overseas.

  7. #7
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    Default

    BlueMtnsFirey wrote:

    "Many of us were able and willing to travel to Vic to help out - yes we would have been paid under our award but were told that we were not permitted to go as the RFS (Rural fire service) had sent enough guys - now only a handful of RFS are trained in structural FF and correct property protection particulary the use of BFFF - WE ARE...... "

    Not exactly correct there BMF, There are considerably more NSW RFS members trained in structural firefighting (17,456 in 2005) than NSWFB Retained (3000). Considerablly greater use of Class A foam within the RFS as well compared to the FB. If you wanted so badly to have a trip to Victoria, you could have joined a vollie RFS brigade.....

  8. #8
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    Red face Opening mouth to change feet

    Thanks for correcting me on my figures there P41.... However the issue wasn't about a trip to Vic - Hey even if I wanted to join an RFS station I cannot as we are not permitted to be active members of both services at the one time....the thread was asking why did we fly personnel in from overseas when we had resources interstate?

    Anyways as my title suggests I apologise for any offense i may have mistakenly caused. I have no beef with any volunteer brigades...hey you guys are always there working on the line simply for the knowledge that you are helping your community.

    Peace Out!

  9. #9
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    Default

    BlueMtnsFirey, It's not correct that a person cannot be an active person of both (NSWFB and NSW RFS) at the same. Nothing about it in the Fire Brigades Act, NSWF In Orders the Rural Fires Act or any associated regulations. Furthermore I myself and numerous others am 'living proof' as we are members of both organisations.

    Now in respect of the Victorian fires, the Victorian fire authorities primarily needed remote area hand tool crews, so went to where they could obtain them ie NSW RFS RAFT crews, wildland hand tool crews from the US and NZ etc. The simple fact is 'urban' retained firies from the NSWFB were not exactly in great demand. You should know that a few NSWFB retained crew with tankers from southern border stations were used in Victoria for a short time. The NSWFB also had to maintain the manning over a summer wildfire period in the Blue Mountains Fire District, sending retained staff to Victoria most likely would have lead to retained staff shortages/failure to turnout due to manning levels in the BMFD.

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