16 March 2007

Fireys quit

| lemaChet
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[First filed: March 15, 2007 @ 20:20]

Scores of ACT Rural firies resigned today.

40 vehicles and 100s of fire fighters resigned in protest against the restructure of the Emergency Services department.

And how lame does Corbell look in that Emergency Services Jacket. Looks clearly like a media grab for me.

(PS – i stole this, mostly word for word, from WIN news)

vote +1 for the guy who said he’d happily be a volunteer, but would not serve under the current infrastructure.

(My wording may need to be cleared up a bit, it’s not entirely what I mean to say. Sorry about that)

[Ed – Louise sent in this story as well, here are her words]:

That’s the reason I’m quitting, if the community doesn’t care about it and the politicians don’t care enough about it

The report of a mass resignation got a bit buried in assembly politics. But the real news is that the ACT seems to have few, if any, remaining volunteer fire captains. They’ve all resigned. This follows hot in the tracks of the resignation of top fire official, competent bloke and all-round good guy David Prince.

Problem is, the community does care about it, but the govt. can’t seem to work out how out-of-touch it really is.

Other problem, is the fire captains chucked all their keys in a bucket. They are, I am told, not labelled at all. So some poor person had to go through and match keys to trucks. I wonder how long that took?

[ED: we had held off on the Prince resignation as there was no clear sign as to the truth of his reasons for quitting. This mass resignation suggests that Simon’s “Everything is OK” line was, at best, poorly informed.]

UPDATED: Here’s the astonishing footage (from both WIN and the ABC) of this mass insurrection by the volunteer workers against being taken for granted, if you missed it last night the images will amaze you:

ANOTHER UPDATE: The Canberra Times has more on this.

FURTHE UPDATE: Thanks to plane for the heads up, the Woden SES unit has pictures of the protest on their own web page (complete with ACT Government logo).

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Ha Ha you guys are funny, This didn’t start with the Stanhope Gov’t. It has been a continous battle between the people of the ACT and the Bureaucracy that hide behind the politicians voted in to supposedly make amends from the previous Gov’t that became arrogant and out of touch with the people and the cycle continues. Thirty plus years ago when the Feds were operating ‘us civilians’ under the Dept of Territories etc. These face Bureaucrats handed down the baton from one generation to the next and each time the fall guys were the gov’t of the day.
The same faceless executive level mentality continues to exist today well after self gov’t (the concept that took them three times to get up) The previous liberal led LA retrenched forestry workers and the fire trails were not maintained along with the second rate tankers that were then dragged out of the boomdocks and placed in the city. At the same time the Bruce Stadium debarcle, how much money was that again? The Royal Canberra Hospital exploding spectacular etc…. So we got rid of them too. Those out of touch arrogant elected faces.
So who remained behind the scenes in their executive positions ??
JaCS, ESB ESAgency, ESAuthority, ESAgency ESA MkIII.
So what if there are new cardboard cutouts in the Legislative Assembly shop front on London Cct that we can heckle because they were voted in by me or you or them.
What are the heads of Departments upto now??????

I haven’t seen too much of anyone being accountable to the community, ingeegoodbee, particularly any elected officials or, for that matter, the paid bureaucrats.

whingeegoodbee, what you are posting completely goes against the fabric upon which our society is built.

Lets take the RFS/SES out of this picture under a hypothetical situation. Replace them with St Vincent De Pauls volunteers. Wouldn’t you be questioning if the SVDP ladies decided it wasn’t worth doing any volunteer time because of the nonsense they had to put up with ?

You are more than welcome to come and discuss your opinions on volunteering considering themselves with hysterical martyrdom with myself and Thumper any given Friday. Bring your own first aid kit, as the pub only has rudimentary equipment.

We are both qualified to administer first aid – an additional skill we obtained via volunteering.

Ingee: Did someone steal your toy firetruck as a child? It would go a long way to explain your vehmence strewn with big words.

Nyssa: literally saw it on a bumper maybe 8 years ago.
But a “nice littl’ earner” for any printers out there, I’d suggest. Specially given the local Libs…

Ingeegoodbee11:52 pm 16 Mar 07

…And another thing Firey, don’t try and tell someone whose done their fair share of both salaried and volunteer firefighting that they wouldn’t have any idea – it serves you no purpose, and simply makes you look silly.

Ingeegoodbee11:43 pm 16 Mar 07

In all honesty I can’t see how all you lefty wankers have to band together against change in the RFS. It’s staggering that my, by my own admission, hard line right-wing view is seen by some as ‘the party line’ (what the f#%K are you on mate?) and the simple observation that the RFS can not be quarantined from organisational change (go and actually read the “wrapped in cotton wool” statement dipshite) unearths a torrent of irrational bile and psudo-indignation.

Let’s have a cold shower people. It’s now obvious that the so called ‘resignations’ were a farce with the gormless tools simply stepping down from their nominal positions – not actually having the wherewithal to sever themselves from the RFS – so as I said, it really was just a poorly stage managed whinge-fest by people with good on ground experience who find themselves so bereft of useful ideas about management that they are forced to publicly admit that they are incapable of being part of the solution and would rather grand-stand their way to ignominy.

By any rational measure of this situation, as a citizen and tax-payer, it’s almost impossible to fail to reach the conclusion that many RFS volunteers overvalue their contribution to the organisation to the point of almost hysterical martyrdom.

These people may well be volunteers, but they’re sure as hell aren’t elected officials who are at least accountable to the community. It’s obvious that what’s needed is a little more attention to the task at hand and a little less grandiose politicing.

Al, I love it. Do you know if they still make them?

ant, the ACT PS isn’t all 3rd rate, but it will be soon. There’s recently been a lot of good people at mid- to senior management, like David Prince, resigning — all for personal reasons, oddly enough! I wouldn’t want to be an incoming govt. having to pick up from that mess. How do you govern when the last mob drove off a lot of the good performers?

The voters of Canberra arent ALL stupid, However they are mostly uninformed. I recall a situation at the last election where the old bird in the booth next to me turnedto her husband and asked who somebody was. His reply was that he didnt know either and he promplty instructed her to vote for Hopeless Stan because they had heard of him.

As an aside i always get a laugh when i hear Jon on the radio. He takes minutes to say what i reckon i could summarise in 5 words or less. It strikes me that its a metaphore to how well this government is run. Extremely inefficiently.

they ought to roll all the vollies in gold. These people are the backbone of our emergency services. They’re on call, they do training in their own time, they save our homes and lives in their own time. I cannot believe that they are being screwed around. What a ludicrous situation. The ACT PS is 3rd rate, everyone’s always known it. In charge of dog rego and parking tickets, and they’re overstretched at that. I hope someone swings for this.

Yes Qld also suffers from having no checks on its government. The only time it has had one was when independent Peter Wellington was elected and held the balance of power (1999?) – best 3 years in many decades before or since. But all accountability from Beattie went out the window as soon as he got an absolute majority (and his cabinet started self-destructing, but that’s another story…).
But a minority government in Qld is a rare thing, while the proportional representation model in ACT is supposed to make it much more likely. Votes for candidates other than those in the 2 big parties have a much better chance of making a real difference here.

Beatty, Kennett, Bjelke-Peterson, Howard, Keating, Stanhope, and they’re just the ones that spring to mind.

Only Stanhope managed to get the RFS to resign, though.

Actually Queensland did away with it’s upper house in the 1920s when the appointed a lieutenant governor with the real Governor out of the country and used him to stuff the house adn then used those numbers to dissolve itself (IIRC).

So crap Government is nothing new.

neanderthalsis2:39 pm 16 Mar 07

The ACT is not the only Govt out there with only a single house and no upperhouse to contain the wilder excesses of the Legislative Assembly. QLD pensioned off it’s upper house under Sir Joh in his effort to establish a solid timocracy with only the cronies of the National Party allowed any say in the running of the state. We now have Premier Pete (the modern day Sir Joh only Labor) running the show and it is the Unions and Labor flunkies in charge and no accountability.

I’m still yet to meet a liberal voter.

Do they hang out in closet communes or something ?

Nyssa: you’d like a bumper sticker I saw once – “Liberals are like cream – rick, thick, and full of clots.”

Maybe it’s just everyone who votes in a majority government who’s the problem (for the record: I didn’t vote for either majority party we are now inflicted with).

Ah AD, you detected my secret and tricky ploy to weed out labor voters. And I was hoping it was too subtle for anyone to notice…

Hell I don’t go for subtly, I just call Federal Liberal voters rednecks and ignorant bastards.

What I’d like to see Mael is the tossing out of this concept of “Government” and “Opposition”. I haven’t looked admittedly, but are these concepts actually enshrined in legislation or the Constitution?

From my way of looking at it, every single elected rep is part of the “Government”. To do otherwise is to defeat any chance of government by consensus and will only perpetuate the adversarial approach which has never served us well.

I was just listening to a speech by SA Labor Premier Mike Rann (don’t ask…) in which he was complimenting the work done in her portfolio by his small business Minister – who is from the National Party! So they have a Coalition rep actually in the Cabinet. Now I don’t know anything about how things are going in SA, but that’s the sort of cooperative governing I’m envisaging. Is it too much to desire government for the people instead of the parties??? For the issues to take prominance over the personalities?

On reflection, I should have called them Jo(h)n voters, or local labor voters. Not too impressed with the feds (libs) either, but they haven’t burned down Canberra, closed schools, libraries, and pissed off the RFS. And my fed vote doesn’t count anyway (the safe seat thing does that). Only at a local level can we make any difference in the ACT.

Ah AD, you detected my secret and tricky ploy to weed out labor voters. And I was hoping it was too subtle for anyone to notice…

I think it’s a bit strong to use the word politician in the same sentence as referring to the ACT Government, it infers they are capable.

I’d prefer Country bum hacks who are affiliated with the Labour Party.

I’m just glad that people still have the audacity to stand up to what they don’t believe is right, and take action. Power to them.

I’d also like to see widespread protest marches if the Libs get voted in for another period in federal office, but I’m patiently optimistic about the docility of the everyday voter.

*** DISCLAIMER ***
I am unarmed and willing to talk for when I am approached in regard to my anti-institutional opinions. I am merely exercising my right at free opinion, and am not considering overthrowing the government in any other means than by my all-persuasive vote at the ballot box.

Absent Diane1:08 pm 16 Mar 07

you seem to have spelt stupid wrong louise.

Ingeegoodbee there are not may words to describe you other then you are a dick!

As many of the people that have commented here yesterday/ today, the people that resigned yesterday probably have several hundred years of experience between then and where do you find that as a replacement?

They resigned because they are passionate about what they do, about the community and about their brigade. These officers can spend up to 2 to 3 nights away from their families each week and that is not including the call outs, interstate trips being 5 days and weekend training.

As to why the protest occured and why people resigned. Again the lack of consoltation before implementing the changes is one of a list of ongoing issues within the RFS which a number have been listed in this forum.

As for being wrapped up in cotton wool, i am sure most of us would love that. That way non of us will get injured, have to inhale toxic smoke or get to the point that we are so burnt out that we can’t keep our eyes open.

I can only assume that you are a gutless whimp within one of the brigades that is to scared to speak up, hence having to use this forum to speak your mind or that you have no idea what you are talking about and making shit up to cause a shit stir.

Go back to the rock that you crawled out from.

The lack of checks and balances in the ACT system of Government is more to blame than any individual voter.

Brendan’s decision to vote in favour of four year terms did nothing to help that.

Stoopid labor voters put in three ALP politicians in a five-seat electorate that had always put in two ALP, two libs and one other. The accountability problems started there.

It is simplistic to call people stupid for voting in a majority govt – no one person voted in a majority govt. If some labor voters voted green, liberals may have got in. Or if everyone did, then the greens would have got in. Everyone makes their own single vote – noone ticks a box saying majority govt.

[homer voice] civil uprising, ey…[/homer voice]

For some piccies from the event, have a look here.

Support the Volunteers that Support Canberra

queen_vic_toria_II12:37 pm 16 Mar 07

I think it is high time that ALL citizens from the ACT get together as one large mob and pay a visit to the Assembly… thousands of people crowding the carparks, London Circuit etc… this calls for all community groups and general citizens to come together and protest… other than that there isn’t much we can do until the next election!

I like the idea of the ACT Public servants going on strike! I also like the idea of the Opposition and the Greens walking out… Maybe they could set up makeshift offices near the fountain outside the assembly and consult with the community – that would be fantastic!

Maybe Simon restructured them and they quit too?

amazing coverage of this on the ct website.

VG: I’m probably one of those people who give a damn about what goes on around me that you disparagingly term bleeding heart lefties. But I think it should be obvious that I don’t support either of the big old parties in the slightest. The closer the ACT Assembly gets to a local council full of non-aligned independents, the better in my view.

Where are all those S-hope supporters who keep an eye on this forum? Their hear well-informed and logical arguments supporting this govt. are strangely missing right now.

The funny thing is he hasn;t stuck anything up Howard in a practical sense. He has been an annoying flea that has been swotted away on a couple of occasions, but in the big picture he means f*ck all on the national stage….something he needs to remember.

I do agree with you though JB

Because sticking it up Howard is more important than having competent firefighters.

I am happy to say I didn’t vote for them, but the bleeding heart lefties who remain oblivious to the actual issues that confront the people of this town daily will probably get them over the line again.

barking toad11:57 am 16 Mar 07

JB, your point about Manson and stable doors is along the lines of Mike Jeffreys comments on radio samuel this morning. The administration has seriously misjudged the feelings of those at the coalface. And the rest of the community. Again.

They say you get the Government’s you deserve.

A lot of Canberrans must have been very bad.

And stupid!

They say you get the Government’s you deserve.

A lot of Canberrans must have been very bad.

“A chasm has developed between the Government and citizenry of the ACT…this crowd are appearing totally unaccountable…The ratepayers do not appear to have any avenue of short-circuiting this maladministration.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again. The ACT Parliament has a single house. With no checking mechanism of an upper house, it is vital that the people of ACT do not install a government with an absolute majority.

The only way to ensure any degree of accountability other than via the 4-yearly poll is to vote for independent and minor party candidates at each and every election.

Everything that everyone is complaining about with this government is a direct symptom of the way this community voted at the last election.

Also the office holders can resign their office, which is what they’ve done.

Apparently Gregor Manson now wants to know what the vollies problem is. Normally it’s best to close the stable door before the horse has bolted.

James-T-Kirk11:36 am 16 Mar 07

VG – I suspect that you can’t actually resign, but you sure as hell can decline to pass on all of your knowledge that would be usefull to the next person…

Kind of reminds me of when a company pisses off an IT department too much, and they all walk to the company next door – It is *very funny* to see what hapens in the donor company…

(Bags not being involved…)

It would also be great to see the teachers doing the same thing – sadly, thy are limited by a sense of duty to the children…

The opposition can’t do anything because of the majority government – that’s why I reckon they should trade on that precise point.

Someone here knows the relevant legislation – isn’t there any way we can legally get rid of this mob (without a public lynching)?

neanderthalsis11:29 am 16 Mar 07

It is a pity that the civilian population cannot carry a vote of no confidence and force an early election (other than civil uprising of course), rather than relying on an ineffective oppostion to do so.

“BTW, Corbell looked like a dick while trying to be one of the boys.”

Sure did. Whether he’s one of them or not, wearing the jacket just showed the depth of his lack of political savvy.

A change of government really is needed. I don’t really want to wait another year to get rid of this mob.

But how on earth do you get this type of change in the system we have? Do we encourage the libs+greens to walk out of every vote in the assembly? Or should the entire ACT public service go on striek? Or should the Libs+greens call a no-confidence motion every 7 days?

Something’s gotta give.

Can you resign if you’re a volunteer?

The mad thing is they’re losing hundreds of thousands of dollars (millions?) in training for what sounds like savings less than the value of a statue of Al Grassby.

And Simon says it’s due to his care for the taxpayers moneys!

a change of government is really needed.

nothing else would act as a circuit breaker between volunteers and govt.

The Stanhope Government would prefer an incompetent service meeting its political needs than a competent one that needs to be treated seriously and will say things that are inconvenient.

January 2003 illustrated the point nicely.

barking toad11:03 am 16 Mar 07

The fact that some key people have resigned and then volunteers resigning indicates something is seriously wrong with the planned structure, or at the very least, the way it is being implemented. Probably both given the ineptness of the administration we have in the ACT.

The recommendations of McLeod and Doogan seem to be ignored because their implementation would be considered by the government as confirming what the reports said about the inefficiency of the administrative arrangements for emergency services under the department of JACS. The arse-covering continues at the expense of efficient emergency services for the community.

The fact that the government is unable to connect with key people and volunteers in emergency services confirms it’s arrogance and incompetence.

We will, however, be able to admire one of this government’s great achievments. A statue of a friend of the mafia.

If ingeegoodbee’s line is the party line, then they may want to completely reconsider emergency services in the ACT and go to a fully fledged full time service of several hundred paid employees.

One volunteer is priceless. Losing so many at once is completely irreplaceable. The ramifications on emergency services will be felt for decades. In this instance, all of the leadership, guidance, tutoring, all for free, of the future waves of volunteers, will be affected.

A lot of people have been wanting to wake up from this nightmare. Small children have looked forwards to the next day in this hope, but no, their school/library/[insert name of community service here] closed anyway.

This ‘government’ has no idea of how to govern. They seem to make it up as they go and piss off the people who do know in the process.

This isn’t really happening, is it?

I will awake from a really horrible dream shortly to discover that Corbell, Hargreaves, Stanhope, et al are all imaginary figures, and the ACT is actually run by some people with an idea of what is really going on!

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt9:13 am 16 Mar 07

I heard about this on Wednesday arvo from a good friend who was mentioning to me how someone in his department had asked for “flex leave to attend the secret firies rally tomorrow”.

The department is JaCS. Competing interests, anyone?

“What would’ve happened if a large fire broke out yesterday, threatening homes in suburban Canberra?”

ESA asked the NSW RFS surrounding the ACT to be available to assist. However it was highly unlikely that the ACT Fire Brigade and the Departmental Rural Fire Brigade (paid) would have required any assistance given the moderate fire danger.

Guess the NSW SES were also asked.

So a volunteer should just do what the guvmint wants?

barking toad7:59 am 16 Mar 07

I’d be interested in what role ingeegoodbee plays in the Department responsible. Someone pushing the party line so strongly usually has a vested interest. Perhaps involved in developing the flawed policy and believes critiscism is not acceptable.

Oh Sammy, then you could have gone and punched Corbell in the face and said, ‘thanks mate’.

😉

And as has been mentioned, we are volunteers, some of us, me included, have over ten years experience.

This government, and sadly, a number of the public, take RFS and SES for granted.

We have jobs, we have families, we have other interests, all which get put on hold whenever anything happens.

The monetary in kind contribution by volunteer RFS and SES to the ACT community is staggering. I cannot put a figure on it but it is almost unbelievable.

Having said that, I know of no-one that will resign simply becasue we enjoy it and believe we are making a difference. We are not wrapped in cotton wool as some wanker put it earlier on. Try spraying wet stuff on red stuff or fixing a gaping hole in a roof in howling gales and monsoonal rain and tell us that we’re wrapped in cotton wool.

As I said, the organisations will continue in one form or another, but we need a little more support from government, not the ‘we know best’ line that they continually sprout.

BTW, Corbell looked like a dick while trying to be one of the boys.

Previous post should look like this:

They were taken off the keyrings to delay the removal of the vehicles

I’m both relieved and dismayed at this statement.

What would’ve happened if a large fire broke out yesterday, threatening homes in suburban Canberra?

They were taken off the keyrings to delay the removal of the vehicles

I’m both relieved and dismayed at this statement.

What would’ve happened if a large fire broke out yesterday, threatening homes in suburban Canberra?

Actually I’m SES but this has been brewing ever since Commissioner Dunne decided to chuck it in.

This government’s arroganc eknows no bounds and is so out of touch with reality that it defies all logical thought.

Don’t expect this to be the end of the squabble between government and volunteer emergency services.

plane, I know what you are saying. I hope the guvmint backs down

I attended the rally today, as a volunteer. Volunteer members of both the Rural Fire Service (RFS) and State Emergency Service (SES), under the Volunteer Brigades Association (VBA) went to the Legislative Assembly with a simple point; delay the introduction of the new ESA structure, and conduct a meaningful consultation with the volunteers and staff of the ESA.

Yes, many people are very worried about the restructure, and consider it to be not only inferior to the structure that was identified in the McLeod and Coroner’s report as a contrubuting factor to the 03 fires, but also very reminiscent of the situation about 10 years ago with the forming of the Emergency Services Bureau.

However, the bigger concern as outlined above, is not the actual structure, but the fact that the Commissioner has not consulted with the vollies at all before announcing the restructure. The first most of us heard was when the plan was announced in the media. A select few representitives were given less than half an hour with the Commisioner the night before the announcement. These are people who have been in the firefighting and SES business for up to 50 years, and understand what things have failed in the past.

The members of the RFS who resigned their ranks today, did not do it lightly. These people give up an immense number fo hours of time with their families and friends, training, standing up, and putting themselves in harms way to do something for the community. They do not consider themselves to be saints, above reproach or that they need to be wrapped in Cotton Wool. They do w\however consider themselves professionals, and experts at what they do. They do not appreciate a Minister who stands up in parliament and states this of the advice from a man who has given 50+ years service, including 12 on the peak firefighting body: “MR CORBELL: I would not regard Mr Jeffrey’s advice in relation to the ESA as
professional advice.” (Reference: (see page 45 of 79)

They also do not like a minister and a Commisioner who thinks that the ESA is all about “Fire, Rescue and Ambulance”. Well guess what the primary role, in fact the legislated role of the SES is Storm and Water Damage Response and Planning. Not bad forgeting the one part of ESA that has completed at least 1300 jobs this financial year so far and about the same number last year, all in its member’s own time, usually at significant expense.

So before people like Ingeegoodbee post comments like have been done above, consider that when you take a “lead, follow or get out of the way approach” you actually need the majority of the people you are directing to do on eo fthe first two options. When all the senior people are taking the third option, and most of the junior people feel like doing the same, then the plan fails dismaly. Thankfully not all people have read one management textbook like Ingeegoodbee, and so actually understand that.

Suppor the Volunteer that are supporting Canberra

P.S. Delay the introduction of the restructure until such time as a meaningful consultation process is conducted.

No, the keys are not usually unlabelled. They were taken off the keyrings to delay the removal of the vehicles.
How many there – hundreds? 30? Probably about a hundred. Remember, they are VOLUNTEERS – the majority HAVE JOBS. Many cannot get away to attend non-callout activities like this. However, ALL of the ACT RFS volunteer fleet were there. ALL of them.
Volunteers had no input into the restructure. They were advised of the new strucuture 24 hours before the public release. Apparently that is consultation.
Label on Simons coat says Rivers.
Ingeegoodbee – do you have any true knowledge of the RFS, ESA or volunteer organisations? It does not appear so.
The issues reported in the press today are only a very small part of the overall picture and issues. No doubt Canberrans can look forward to more over the next few weeks.
And of course,anyone that knows anything about volunteers and staff of emergency organisations know that they would never leave the public under threat if an emergency arose. The members resigned from there official positions, not from the organisation they are trying to save and help prevent falling back to a pre-2003 situation again.

Managing a volunteer organisation is entirely different to managing a paid workforce. If morale drops too far volunteers just quietly withdraw their labour – if they don’t hold a position they don’t need to resign. Yes, some people will probably step up to the plate, but it takes many years to develop a skilled fire fighter.

I hardly think that fighting bushfires is “wrapped up in cotton wool”. You seem to think that everyone who resigned is some sort of troublemaker. What do you base this opinion on? I can personally vouch for a small handful of those people, and political troublemakers they are not. They are some of the most dedicated people, they are the people you want to be fighting a bushfire for you. They’ve been around a long time, they know what to do. Can a brand new member offer those same skills? They are hardly a suitable replacement.

The real issue here isn’t a bunch of people bitching about nothing. It is about the government taking their volunteer roles for granted and not consulting them on issues which directly effect how they fight fires.

Once again, NOT whingers, making a point about being used.

Strikes me you are remarkably well informed (connected) to be pushing a Government line. I ask again, as a result of you eagerly seeing the back of these malcontents, where are you going to find this new breed (in numbers) of volunteers?

Ingeegoodbee10:18 pm 15 Mar 07

I’m guessing you guys would.should have resigned as well! Organisational change is run for the mill – why the hell should the RFS be wrappped in cotton wool? The real issue here is that there’s a bunch of people in the organisation whot think that their volunteer status makes them some sort of saint and that they’re bigger than the organisation that they’re part of. In the cold hard light of day, they’re just little whingers with a chip on their shoulder or a political barrow to push. The RFS will continue to work effectively without these people because a) their contribution was overstated (in their own eyes and the eyes of the people who support them but were too gutless to resign, and b) because there will always be people who are genuinely interetsed in stepping up to the plate and volunteering.

And how do they protect with no command structure? No captains? Most members of the RFS put up with the shit that is dished out because they want to deliver the “magnificent services that [they] are renowned for”, but this restructuring directly effects how they go about doing their jobs, and the point is that they were not consulted about the changes. They rarely are.

Can I ask where you intend to find all these politically correct firies from?
Mate, I’m slow to fire, but your talking crap!

Ingeegoodbee10:02 pm 15 Mar 07

Really hundreds – ABC reported about 30 but hey, lets split the difference … in all honesty, this is a good thing for Canberran’s.

Gregor Manson, doesn’t muck about, and he’s had long enough in the job to pick the wheat from the chaff. This is a classic and effective management approach called “Lead, Follow or Get out of the way”. The RFS needs good people who want to be good firefighters, not useless idiots who want to sprout off about how little they know about organisational management, or are too interested in protecting their own little fiefdoms.

By resigning, these people have done us all a favour by clearly stating that they are incapable of playing an effective role in being part of the solution – what they want us all to know is that they’re more interested in grandstanding than protecting Canberran’s. With any luck, once the new structure is implemented (in whatever format that may be) we can all rest assured that the rancid mucus has been well and truly wiped from the bottom of the boot and that all of the people out on the front line will know what the role is and deliver the magnificent services that the RFS is renowned for.

[How’s that for sanitised JB – good enough for your big advertising buy blue rinse set?]

Fairly predictable after the stress of a bad season with polies still playing games. They forget that volunteers give up their own time and risk their lives in unpredictable situations. Totally misread by Corbell and Stanhopeless but whats new.

I’ve gotta say, if the volunteer bushfire organisations are being staffed by people who don’t label the keys to the fire truck, i’m very worried.

That could be because the keys spend most of the time in the actual firetruck.

Is thumper RFS or SES (or neither)?

He’d have looked better in the matching pants.

i’m waiting for …. uh.. the dudes name who i can’t remember.. that posts here quite often.. to give his viewpoint.. (the one who wrote that really pretty piece about the 01 fires)

It’s not just the structure changes, this is an ongoing issue with the current government. Other issues, the most recent coming to mind is the ESA taking money away from RFS brigades, have built up, and this restructure (also meaning the RFS loses a paid staff member, something they don’t have many of) is the final straw.

how lame does Corbell look in that Emergency Services Jacket

I believe Corbell is a member of Rivers brigade. That gives him a legitimate reason to wear it. Having said that, I agree that he looked stupid wearing it.

They are, I am told, not labelled at all

So is this a typical thing?

I’ve gotta say, if the volunteer bushfire organisations are being staffed by people who don’t label the keys to the fire truck, i’m very worried.

Ingeegoodbee9:40 pm 15 Mar 07

Who cares what they think – they’ve pretty clearly stated that they couldn’t be arsed being part of the solution – they resigned are are forthwith irrelevant to the issue

This is very disturbing because the whole success of bushfire fighting relies on the goodwill of the volunteers. Once the goodwill is lost, it will be very hard to get it back. Even more disturbing because I thought Simon was one of them.

In many years of involvement in bush fire fighting (not in ACT) I have seen lots of disputes over command structures but the guys have always stayed because they wanted to do their best for their communities. I am thinking these guys think the new structure/arrangements are untenable.

All we need is a fiddler.

I can attest that certain govco minister are arrogant son-of-bithces. all they care about is photo opps. They dont really care what the citizenry think: I am talking about you John, Jon and Simon. Frack-it!

Can’t be bothered with the frack-turds right now.

Ingeegoodbee9:17 pm 15 Mar 07

Really hundreds – ABC reported about 30 but hey, lets split the difference … in all honesty, this is a good thing for Canberran’s.

Gregor Manson, doesn’t fuck about, and he’s had long enough in the job to pick the wheat from the chaff. This is a classic and effective management approach called “Lead, Follow or Get out of the way”. The RFS needs good people who want to be good firefighters, not shit-bags who want to sprout off about how little they know about organisational management or are too interested in protecting their own little fiefdoms.

By resigning, these people have done us all a favour by clearly stating that they are incapable of playing an effective role in being part of the solution – what they want us all to know is that they’re more interested in grandstanding than protecting Canberran’s. With any luck, once the new structure is implemented (in whatever format that may be) we can all rest assured that the shit has been well and truly wiped from the bottom of the boot and that all of the people out on the front line will know what the role is and deliver the magnificent services that the RFS is renowned for.

A chasm has developed between the Government and citizenry of the ACT.
Every Government decision is based on cost cutting (where the hell has the money gone?), and is foisted, poorly explained, onto the ratepayers.
The concept/actuality of cabinet solidarity is causing enormous harm, as this crowd are appearing totally unaccountable. Don’t any of them have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and question this arrogance? I am singling out Gentleman and that other woman. Are they along for the freeby ride of being in government with no responsibility? They apparently don’t expect to continue their career beyond the next election.
The Firies are certainly voting with their feet, but it would help if they could articulate their concerns to us minions so we could better adjudge the situation.
The ratepayers do not appear to have any avenue of short-circuiting this maladministration. We are left with no bush fire fighting capabilities at the moment, with Simon apparently unconcerned.
Just who would support this bunch? Can we pull them up short and give them the flick? They are apparently complicit in placing the Territory in danger of fires, with the saving of money their only concern.

40 vehicles and 100s of fire fighters resigned in protest

Vehicles can’t resign. But I take your point.

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