Following a resolution at Fair Work Australia late last night the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) will bring nine new appliances into service to enhance its ability to support the State of Victoria at this time of heightened public health risk.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Bushfire Response Kim Wells said the nine new pumpers and pumper tankers will significantly enhance the MFB’s firefighting fleet and are equipped with state of the art technology, including dynamic stability control.
“Following last night’s resolution at Fair Work Australia 10 per cent more trucks from MFB’s fire truck fleet will be on the road ready to attend to emergency medical call-outs this week at a time when the state is experiencing an unprecedented heatwave,” Mr Wells said.
MFB will crew the additional trucks primarily by redeploying staff who are trainers and fire safety specialists in addition to being experienced firefighters and medical responders.
The MFB advised that a number of the newly commissioned trucks are already out on the road, in addition to three spare vehicles that were commissioned on Tuesday.
“This is a common sense result that allows for an increase in the availability of fire trucks that will carry emergency medical response trained firefighters and equipment,” Mr Wells said.
“With cardiac related calls to Ambulance Victoria up 40 per cent this week, and the extreme weather expected to continue into Saturday, increasing the availability of fire trucks that can be deployed to emergency medical incidents is a practical way the MFB can complement other emergency services at a time when we know there is increased demand.
“As a result of United Firefighters Union (UFU) stalling tactics it was extremely disappointing that MFB had no other choice but to escalate this matter to the Fair Work Commission in order to get resolution, but it is pleasing to see common sense prevail,” Mr Wells said.
“The cooperation across all of our emergency services organisations at this time has been outstanding. I would like to personally thank all our firefighters and emergency services personnel who continue to work tirelessly this week.”