Unfortunately, it has become a horribly political discussion but the Association has long advocated for Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades to be able to access Breathing Apparatus (BA) under ESL if there is a need and willingness to do so.
Sadly, there are always a number of spurious arguments thrown up to stop Brigades who need and want BA including the rather insulting suggestion that Bush Fire Brigade Volunteers aren’t capable of managing the training required to ensure proper compliance – and this Facebook post from our amazing team at Mt Helena Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade absolutely obliterates that!
For the record, the association has one simple desire in terms of Brigade resourcing: that Local Governments and their Brigades are able to access the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) to fund whatever equipment and training they need and want for PPRR – and that absolutely includes the appropriate level of personal protective equipment.
We are working harder than ever to ensure silly ‘politics’ plays no part in why Bushfire Volunteers are forced to expose themselves to cancer-causing smoke while their DFES-managed peers are given Breathing Apparatus for the same work.
In the meantime, congratulations Mt Helena for your ongoing commitment and work to protect our community (and yourselves while you do it) and thank you for sharing this important post!