SA Firies Set To Protest Over Major Under Resourcing Issues
Equipment issues raised
South Australian firefighters are taking industrial action at a protest on Friday, highlighting the need for more resources within the service.
Protesters, in conjunction with the maintain the United Firefighters Union of South Australia, say 'chronic under-resourcing' is placing lives at risk during a distressing period.
Union secretary Max Adlam says the lack of resources is glaring, with a significant amount of trucks reaching the end of their shelf life in metro and regional locations.
"In critical locations around Adelaide and some regional centres, trucks are beyond their useful life and are no longer in use," Ms Adlam said on Friday.
"Fires, whether it be a house fire or other structure fire, can take hold in a matter of two minutes, while there is a critical window when responding to a bushfire, meaning you can't afford for a truck to break down on the way to a job."
"That's why vehicle reliability is a major concern for our firefighters."
Adlam said firies will begin to stretch across communities in the coming weeks, raising safety awareness through the the peak heat of summer.
The union leader believes there is no funding plan from the government to introduce new vehicles.
"Running a fleet of fire trucks that are beyond their use-by date is putting a huge strain on an already under-resourced maintenance and engineering team," Ms Adlam said.
"The mechanics are working round the clock just to keep the trucks up and running and, at some point, trucks will fail when we need them and that will cost lives.
"We also have vulnerable locations, such as Port Lincoln, where the only water carrier is 30 years old and no longer operational.
"Across the state, our reserve fleet is in poor condition, lacks vital equipment such as working chainsaws and safety systems such as burn-over protection - all crucial when needed for strike teams on days of extreme fire danger. The situation is absolutely dire."
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