Fire Service Research Paper

Words: 1157
Pages: 5

A life in the Fire service After being a part of the Fire Service for most of his working life, Ian Payne speaks of some of the major changes in Safety, Technology and roles of individuals to the service over the past fifty years. Lachlan Ballangarry tells his stories.
After spending several years as a cabinet maker Ian became dissatisfied with the wages and conditions, prompting his journey into a 40 year career with the Fire Service.
“I joined the fire service on the 11th of November 1968 and I retired in 2002, having served 34 years. A year after my retirement I joined the auxiliary fire service on Bribie Island and served as a volunteer for another 5 years” Ian shared.
With almost 40 years spanning his career, Ian stated he performed
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Ian described, “In my early days as a firefighter orders were given by word of mouth on the fire ground, nowadays secure UHF portable radios are used and also mobile communication vehicles can attend major incidents and relay real time video of the incident back to senior officers operating in a command centre remote from the incident”. Ian explains this has been a major improvement for communication and for the safety of today’s firefighter.
Just think how stressful situations would have been without this new technology. There would have been no ability to warn firefighters at a bush fire or inside a dark, smoke filled house of emergent situations that were arising. They would have to rely on touch or listening out for someone yelling to inform them of what to do.
Over the past 50 years, one of the major changes to the Fire Service was the introduction of women to the firefighter role. Firefighting was viewed only a man’s job, as many women in those times did not work or were mainly office based
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Within the Fire Service, the workplace and work role had to dramatically change to accommodate the addition of women.
Ian explains the introduction of women “forced the fire service to become an equal opportunity employer.” “Dress standards and inappropriate language and behaviour have had to be modified to cater for modern day workplace,” Ian said.
Ian also talks about how Fire Services in Queensland used to be self-run organisations (boards) between urban (full-time firefighters) and rural (volunteer) run Fire Brigade boards. These organisations had barely any contact or communication between them, however higher ranked officers highlighted the need for better communication between the numerous boards across the state. From this the Queensland Fire Service we see today was created.
“The biggest change in the Fire Service in my time was going from Board run Fire Services running individually across the state with barely any recognition of adjacent board run Fire Services, to the change bought about by government in 1990, when the Queensland Fire Service was established which did away with the board