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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 6 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 2036..

Emergency Services-response protocols

(Question No 373)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, upon notice, on 7 April 2005:

(1) In relation to urgent duty driving, why is it the case that under the new or proposed Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) a Rural Fire Service (RFS) unit being driven by someone trained in urgent duty driving and responding cannot break the speed limit, whilst an urban Fire Brigade Unit responding to the same fire in the same kind of truck can break the speed limit;

(2) What is the reason for the discrepancy in the SOP;

(3) Has the RFS obtained any legal advice on the legalities relating to responding to bushfire incidents; if so, what is that advice; if not, what is its decision to alter the SOP based on;

(4) Does the Rural Fire Service (RFS) have any other form of professional advice supporting its changes in the SOP.

Mr Hargreaves: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) The differences in Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) between the ACT Fire Brigade and the ACT Rural Fire Service (ACT RFS) reflects the differences in the levels of experience between a full time, highly trained workforce and a highly trained but part time workforce operating in significantly different emergency response roles;

(2) There are different SOPs for the ACT RFS and the ACT Fire Brigade, which reflect the different requirements and roles of each responding agency. There is no discrepancy;

(3) The proposed changes in the ACT RFS SOP reflects the response of the ACT RFS to the duty of care it has for its volunteers and the public when responding crews to a grass or bushfire in the rural area.

(4) No, this is not necessary as changes to SOPs are a routine matter.

Policing-taser use

(Question No 374)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, upon notice, on 7 April 2005:

(1) What assessments were done on the Taser X26 before it was introduced for trial;

(2) What is the scheduled start and finish dates of the trial;

(3) Are there pre-established criteria against which the judgement as to the success or otherwise of the Taser X26 trial will be made; if so, what are they; if not, why not;

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