* A Message from the Bega Valley Branch Chairman. Bega Valley Rural Fire Service Association Branch RFSA *
I am both sickened and saddened to open the news paper this morning and see further nonsensical statements made from the media and the Fire Brigade Employees Union (FBEU) using false and misleading information.
In all my years as Chair of the RFSA Branch and Senior Deputy Captain of the Tathra Brigade, I could not have been prouder of the working relationship shared between our local RFS and FRNSW Brigades both on incident scenes and in training.
From my local perspective the response from Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers yesterday was factual and to read further media releases from the FBEU slamming Deputy Commissioner Rogers comments was frustrating.
Since the initial poor media releases yesterday the local Brigade and the RFSA Branch has received continual messages of support, urging local Volunteers and staff to not take note of the games being put out by the FBEU and certain media outlets.
We do not want to see our State end up like Victoria where the ethos of Volunteers is lost to the Unions who are only interested in their self interests.
Coincidentally at the same time as this unwarranted attack on the RFS is being ran, the FBEU yesterday afternoon fronted the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into bullying and harassment within Emergency services.
I urge both the media and the FBEU to leave the Community of Tathra and the Rural Fire Service Volunteers and staff alone at such a challenging time.
Finally, I would like to thank all of our Volunteers and Staff of the RFS, all of the FRNSW firefighters, as well as staff from NPWS, Forestry, Council, Energy providers and all the other people and organisations who have assisted.
My thoughts are with all of our Community, particularly those who have been impacted by this fire. We as a Community will support one another.
Thanks. Jason Lewington.