FROM 2.10 to 2.55pm on Thursday, there were no emergencies in the Gladstone area.
Thank goodness, because if there were, it may have been up to 25 minutes before a fire crew would have been able to attend.
This is because the operational staff were at an accident in Calliope. They asked QFRS management for a crew to be called in to man the station while they were out of city limits, but this request was denied.
Gladstone Firefighters Union president Kristal Johnson said this was simply unacceptable.
"It's bad enough that Gladstone only has one crew to service one of Queenland's highest-risk areas," she said. "But then for senior management to deny the community protection in its simplest form - it's not good enough."
Ms Johnson said although on-call staff were available by pager, this type of response has a delay of typically 10-25 minutes.
"It takes a house five to 10 minutes to be fully involved in a fire," she said.
Yesterday QFRS Union members took to the street with placards voicing their concern at the staffing levels in Gladstone region.
As one member said, "This community is entitled to - and paying for - 24 hour fire protection that they're just not getting."
Ms Johnson said, "At no time does Rockhampton or Mackay go without protection, so why should Gladstone?"
- 2.10pm Thursday: Gladstone city firefighters respond to a motorcycle crash in Calliope.
- Upon leaving Gladstone city limits, the operational Gladstone staff requested a crew to be called into Gladstone fire station to replace the firefighters out of the city area.
- This request was denied by QFRS management
- On this day there were no auxiliary firefighters available at Boyne Island or Calliope.
- The Gladstone area was therefore essentially unprotected for a period of about 45 minutes.
Aurgument over staffing
A QUEENSLAND Fire and Rescue Service representative yesterday denied claims the Gladstone Fire Station was understaffed.
"Gladstone station currently has 21 rostered firefighters, which meets the recommended staffing level for stand-alone fire stations in Queensland."
In regard to Thursday's incident, the represent<HH>ative said QFRS would have organised a crew to man the station if the Gladstone crew had been required at the crash site for longer period of time.
"In the circumstance where QFRS are required for an extended period of time, QFRS will arrange a crew to man the station while they are assigned to the current job. At all times QFRS has the ability to redirect crews to higher priority emergencies, if required."