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Fire Brigade Employees Union call for upgrades to truck fleet after Dubbo crew stranded

The Fire Brigade Employees Union has called for a swift upgrade of trucks in NSW after a crew was unable to escape a vandal attack because their vehicle had broken down.

The western New South Wales Fire and Rescue crew were called to extinguish a bin fire in Dubbo last week and returned to notice smoke billowing from their truck’s engine.

While the crew waited for mechanics to arrive, they were attacked by a group that began throwing rocks at them, forcing them to hide in the truck’s cabin.

Fire Brigade Employees Union country representative Tim Anderson said he had raised concerns about the incident.

“Firefighters have no role in law enforcement at all, we’re purely there to assist the community when an incident is occurring,” Mr Anderson said.

“We should be able to do our job safely without being subjected to violence.”

Police said they were investigating the incident.

The Dubbo crew returned to find their truck had broken down. (Supplied: Fire Brigade Employees Union)

Calls for new vehicles

The incident has drawn attention to what the union said was the deteriorating state of an ageing fleet.

“We’ve been telling fire brigade management for a long time that bad things are going to happen if our fire engines aren’t reliable,” Mr Anderson said.

A close up of a Fire and rescue NSW emblem on a fire truck

Fire and Rescue NSW says it is aware of the incident in Dubbo.(Supplied)

“The health and welfare of firefighters is paramount, and not only were the firefighters in Dubbo subjected to that violence, they were unable to remove themselves because the fire engine had broken down.”

Fire and Rescue NSW acknowledged a mechanical issue had occurred with the fire truck in Dubbo and that a part required replacement.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-09-29/union-call-for-fire-and-rescue-to-upgrade-fire-trucks/102905582 Fire Brigade Employees Union call for upgrades to truck fleet after Dubbo crew stranded

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