Report criticizes firefighters

Report criticizes firefighters

25 July 2007

published by

Australian fire authorities have released a report highlighting serious shortfalls in how New Zealand firefighters dealt with one of the country’s worst bushfires.

Eleven New Zealanders were deployed in Victoria last December to help bring one of the State’s worst bush fires under control. Six were caught in a wildfire incident near the town of Mansfield and needed hospital treatment for burns.

New Zealand National Rural Fire Officer Murray Dudfield says the report shows that personal protective equipment was not worn correctly and crews ignored intelligence made available on the fire. Mr Dudfield says the report has hit home just how important safety is.

He says the lessons learnt will be actively promoted and used in the ongoing training of firefighters.

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