The frequent unavailability of Canberra’s only high rise firefighting truck, the Bronto, means firefighters were forced to carry extinguishers and hoses up twelve floors to respond to an apartment fire, Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Giulia Jones said.
The Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentlemen today confirmed that Canberra’s only Bronto has been unavailable for 16.1 per cent of the time since 1 July 2017.
Of the 2,354 hours the Bronto was unavailable, a replacement was provided less than 40 per cent of the time.
“The Minister’s claim that it is a success for firefighters to ‘quickly adapt’ to high rise fires by carrying heavy equipment up twelve floors due to the unavailability of the Bronto is further proof of his disrespect for Canberra’s frontline emergency workers,” Mrs Jones said.
“Firefighters repeatedly put their own lives on the line to keep Canberrans safe. Our firefighters are saving lives and we owe them the respect of proper equipment.
“Only a government as old and tired as this one would tolerate major safety equipment being unavailable more than 16 per cent of the time.
“It’s particularly concerning given the rapid expansion of high density development we are experiencing in Canberra.
“At the last election, Labor committed to providing another aerial appliance. Yet, despite the frequent unavailability of the only Bronto, the government has failed to fulfil this commitment.
“After 18 years running emergency services, Labor should be able to get the basics right. Clearly they cannot.” Mrs Jones concluded.