NATION

Amended Laws For Fire Services

The laws governing national fire services will be updated to reflect the broadening scope of work being undertaken by the National Fire Authority. NFA chief executive officer John O’Connor admitted
04 Oct 2014 08:15
Amended Laws For Fire Services
Rugby league legend and former Vodafone Fijian Bati captain Petero Civoniceva (right) with Lautoka City Council chief executive officer Jone Nakauvadra at Churchill Park, Lautoka on January 15, 2020 .Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The laws governing national fire services will be updated to reflect the broadening scope of work being undertaken by the National Fire Authority.
NFA chief executive officer John O’Connor admitted that their response to forest, bush, rubbish and cane fire were ‘illegal’ because they were not covered under the current laws.   The NFA is currently governed by the outdated National Fire Services Act 1994.
“Realistically we are performing illegal activities but we have to because most are emergencies,” Mr O’Connor said.
“The act has no provisions for the NFA to respond to forest, bush, rubbish and cane fires as well as respond to national emergencies and disasters.”
He told Fiji Sun during the Escott Shield breakfast at the Novotel Convention Centre in Lami on Thursday that they were now drafting legislation to cater for the broadened emergency services in the country.
“Our role has expanded and current legislation only provides for specific firefighting and rescue but now we are required to provide road accidents rescue, ambulance services, chemical hazards response rescue and these are not covered under the act.”
He said Government wanted NFA to provide services outside towns and city boundaries as well.
“At the moment the legislation only allows us to provide services within the town and city boundaries which is why we need to review the legislation.”
In terms of equipment, he said they already had the capacity to deal with the increased workload.
“We have bought fire trucks, personal protective equipment for the firefighter and we are continuing to develop and upgrade with international standards.”
He said the officers had been undergoing training for paramedical services from their collegues from fire stations in Japan.
”They have been conducting trainings for firefighters a core of 40 officers are trained to become trainers in paramedic services.

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