Page 972 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 March 2005

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(3) All Parks and ACT Forests Brigades fire fighting staff are familiar with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) covering urgent duty driving issued by the Emergency Services Authority. This SOP is currently being reviewed.

(4) No. Several emergency authorities and registered training organisations offer training in driving under operational conditions and risk perception and management to ensure that personnel have appropriate skills, knowledge, competencies and attitude to undertake these activities.

(5) To be answered by the Minister for Police and Emergency Services.

(6) Yes, on one occasion the Parks Brigade were asked to respond to a fire on Namatjira Drive. Upon arrival the unit were informed they were not required.

Emergency services—road rules
(Question No 206)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for Urban Services, upon notice, on 17 February 2005:

(1) Have fire-fighting personnel with (a) ACT Forests and (b) Parks Brigade at any time been given a directive not to respond to reports of bushfire incidents, that is to say, to engage in Urgent Duty Driving for example driving in a manner where the road rules may be broken where reasonable to do so;

(2) If such a directive has been issued, (a) on what basis was it issued, given that fire-fighting personnel from these brigades have in the past responded to fires, (b) on what date will fire-fighting personnel be again able to respond to bushfire incidents and (c) what interim measures have been adopted to ensure that fire-fighting personnel can respond immediately;

(3) Have fire-fighting personnel received any training, instruction or tuition on procedures or requirements when responding to emergency incidents;

(4) Is there a national recognised training standard for responding to emergency incidents;

(5) Has the Emergency Services Authority received any legal advice relating to the legalities of emergency services personnel responding to fires; if so, what did it say;

(6) Have there been any instances where fire-fighting personnel from the Parks or Forestry brigades have been directed to respond to a report of a bushfire on a day of orange or red bushfire readiness, and the fire-fighting personnel only proceeded to the report of fire without breaking the road-rules where reasonable to do so.

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

(1) The ACT Forests and Parks Brigades have been instructed by their Agency employers to comply with speed limits, traffic lights and road signs while travelling to rural fires. Where appropriate, trained and competent personnel may use light and sirens to negotiate traffic and impediments.

(2) A) The Department of Urban Services and Environment ACT provide firefighters to the ACT Rural Fire Service under a Memorandum of Understanding. While involved in

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