The PSA was formally advised on 17 April 2023 that the Firefighters Fitness Policy would come into effect on 1 May 2023.
The Deputy Secretary provided a Memo to staff on 17 April 2023 which reads:
‘The NPWS Firefighter Fitness Policy was released in November 2022 and will come into effect on 1 May 2023.
The policy guides NPWS staff with firefighting duties in their role description who are not able to meet the required health and fitness standards as required in their role description.
“All firefighting staff and their managers should familiarise themselves with the policy and assess what it means for them ahead of the implementation next month
This policy is intended to ensure we continue to keep our people safe while also meeting our important fire management obligations.’
NPWS management acknowledged in the memo, the implementation of this policy may be challenging, so staff are reminded that confidential support is available via the NPWS Peer Support Program or the Employee Assistance Program.
Our members have continually told us, if staff cannot meet the moderate task based assessment requirements, there are other incident management team and support roles within firefighting that they could undertake.
The PSA is extremely disappointed with NPWS developing a policy that would enable them to medically retire their long-term experienced staff who could undertake essential incident management team and support roles during fires.
This policy will affect long-term NPWS employees and employees who have been injured at work. This clearly demonstrates, NPWS management simply do not care.
Please share this bulletin with your colleagues.