A fireplace ravaged a scrap metallic yard in Papakura yesterday. Photograph / NZ Skilled Firefighters Union
Firefighters are having to take additional pointless dangers as a result of there usually are not sufficient aerial vans within the fleet to assist battle huge fires from above.
That is in response to the NZ Skilled Firefighters Union, which is now calling for extra specialty vans to be introduced in, or proceed to danger firefighters’ lives and doubtlessly, the general public.
Nonetheless, Hearth and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) mentioned its equipment fleet, together with its aerial home equipment, is “protected and appropriate” for the job and the general public’s security is just not in danger.
Fenz space supervisor Geoff Purcell mentioned aerial home equipment are serviced frequently to make sure they’re maintained to a excessive customary.
The union’s feedback come after a large blaze ripped by means of a scrap metallic yard in Papakura, South Auckland, that noticed as much as 10 fireplace crews from completely different elements of Auckland referred to as out simply after 8am yesterday.
Three aerial home equipment had been despatched out – two from Ellerslie and Parnell and the third from Te Atatū, West Auckland, the union mentioned, whereas the opposite three aerial Auckland home equipment are out of motion.
One was broken on the Waikeria Jail siege, the union mentioned, and the opposite two had been broken coincidentally on the identical day, together with one at a station in Papatoetoe, which might have been the closest unit to reply to yesterday’s fireplace.
The union’s Auckland native secretary, Martin Campbell, informed the Herald firefighters on the scene had been left annoyed on the scenario after one of many three aerial vans responding broke down as they fought flames yesterday.
“We’re barely managing with what we have got,” Campbell mentioned.
“All three of (the out there) aerial home equipment had been on the fireplace in Papakura. If there was one other incident that occurred yesterday, we would not have been in a position to reply to it.
“We might’ve been screwed.”
Had one other aerial equipment been wanted, the one in Hamilton would have been introduced in – leaving that metropolis weak if a giant fireplace incident occurred on the identical time too, he mentioned.
Campbell mentioned the union had confused to Hearth and Emergency NZ the necessity to purchase newer vans or extra aerial home equipment so as to add to the fleet.
“Heavy aerials are those that rescue folks and they’re the automobiles which might be used to extinguish the large fires from above or, within the Papakura scenario, far-reaching.”
When an aerial equipment can not come out to a scene, it means firefighters should go deeper right into a constructing, for instance, to assault a hearth – placing their lives additional in danger, he mentioned.
Campbell mentioned a “vital funding” was wanted from Fenz to construct its fleet.
Purcell mentioned Fenz’s Auckland aerial home equipment are lower than 25 years previous, the age restrict for the home equipment below its “Aerial Technique”.
“Our nationwide aerial alternative programme is at the moment on monitor and we’ve begun a undertaking to amass 4 new aerial home equipment,” he mentioned.
“If there had been one other fireplace within the Auckland area that required an aerial equipment in the course of the fireplace at Hunua street, we had plans to redeploy an aerial equipment if wanted.
“As with all main incidents, we will probably be reviewing our response within the spirit of steady enchancment for the long run.”