SES Volunteers Association of Western Australia (Incorporated)

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01/05/2013 – SESVA calls for apology

SESVA calls for immediate apology
SESVA President David Price said an article published by the United Firefighters Union in The Australian Firefighter Summer 2013 is deeply offensive to thousands of highly trained, dedicated State Emergency Service personnel and requires an immediate apology.  “The unprovoked attack by the United Firefighter’s Union is ill-informed, unhelpful and extremely disappointing,” Mr Price said.

“It’s clear that the message is intended to appeal to union members but I’m certain it would be just as offensive to many of the paid, career emergency workers as it is to the thousands of volunteers who give up their time and expertise to help their community in often dangerous conditions.”  “The article shows an astonishing ignorance of the value our members bring to Western Australia’s emergency response capacity.”  “The State Emergency Service is not one of last resort. Far from it. We proudly perform essential work that is not provided by other agencies and we do it with the utmost professionalism.”  “Our members regularly sacrifice their businesses, forego time with their families and lose sleep to work seamlessly alongside the union’s paid members in times of crisis.”

“We often bring essential local knowledge and insight to dangerous situations and constantly train to remain as skilled as possible in providing our services.”
“SES volunteers have no interest in turf wars. The union has clearly got a purpose for publishing such inflammatory nonsense, but we are only about helping the community in times of need, full stop.”  “The comments need to be immediately withdrawn and the UFU should publicly apologise to the many thousands of dedicated volunteers who selflessly give to protect and rebuild our community every day and night,” Mr Price said.

The opening paragraph of the article published in The Australian Firefighter Summer 2013 is:
“Around the nation we are witnessing Government attacks on the wages and conditions of Firefighters. This is unacceptable – and short sighted.  The work that Firefighters do to protect our communities across Australia should not be subject to penny pinching or the latest administrative management fad-generic management. Officers in our Rank Structure are relied upon by Firefighters as having specific Fire and Rescue and Bushfire competencies – lateral entry so called “emergency” service people from civilian volunteer backgrounds like the SES do not cut the mustard operationally and are a risk to our personnel who are trained and experienced across a range of specific competencies.”

Mr David Price
President SES Volunteers Assocaition


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