The fight continues, a fight that firefighters believe they are losing. The latest weapon of stupidity is the introduction of random drug and alcohol testing. At first glance it appears to be a reasonable decision, look at the finer points and you soon realize how bad things have become. Consider the following:
1. Fire and Rescue NSW is the first and only Fire service in Australia to introduce such tests. In fact the NSW Rural Fire Service have stated that they will not introduce these tests because it is an insult to the professionalism of their firefighters. It appears that the management of Fire and Rescue NSW are very comfortable insulting their firefighters.
2. There are over 300 stations state wide in NSW. Over a 24 hour period there are over 400 crews that could be checked. They check maybe 5. Why bother? Clearly this has very little to do with safety and more to do with management justifying their pay checks.
3. The big issue that should concern the public of NSW? The cost. As we all know management of Fire and Rescue NSW is closing stations to save money. The irony here is that it costs more money to test a crew than it does to keep a fire station open. In fact for the cost of testing one crew at one station they could recall firefighters (should firefighters be unwell) and keep two stations open for the same shift. Clearly safety is a big issue for management.
Many more issues to be highlighted over the following months. Stay tuned!