No Change to Fire Service OperationsInternal Affairs
Internal Affairs Minister Jack Elder is very concerned at the amount of misinformation being spread by opposition Members of Parliament.
"Misleading statements have been made by people who should know better which can only have the effect of alarming the community and undermining the Fire Service.
"Firefighters will respond to non-fire emergencies in exactly the same way as they do at present, and the public will see no difference in the way the Fire Service responds to emergencies," Mr Elder said.
"The only announcement made to date has been the removal of a layer of bureaucracy between the Fire Service Chief Executive and actual firefighters.
"There have been no changes made to the way firefighters actually operate."
The Commission Chairman has said he wanted the Fire Service to focus more in the key area of protecting people from the risk of fire - not to stop responding to other emergencies.
"While I regret that two regional managers chose to resign following the decision to disestablish their administrative positions, the move will free up considerable resources for actual firefighting purposes," Mr Elder said.
Mr Elder said he has been very impressed with the way the Fire Service Commission has gone about seeking the frank views of a wide range of Fire Service staff, and believes the consultation process now under way will have an influence on protecting people from the risk of fire.
Members of the Fire Service Commission have offered to brief Opposition MPs on the changes to the Fire Service strategic direction, and Mr Elder released a copy of the Chairman's letter to him outlining his concerns at the Opposition MPs statements.