Queensland Public Safety Business Agency review

The Queensland Government is conducting an official review into the Public Safety Business Agency (PSBA) as part of their 2015 election commitments. The PSBA provides corporate service capabilities for the Queensland Police Service and the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.

Over the past fortnight, the review team has met with staff from the Queensland Police Service, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and the PSBA.

Find out more:

 Terms of Reference

Review updates from the Public Service Commission.


Firefighter injuries in British Columbia

More from this research collaboration between an ex fire chief (Len Garis)  and the University of the Fraser Valley, BC

Firefighter Injuries in British Columbia: An Examination of Frequency, Severity, Locational and Temporal aspects
by Centre For Public Safety And Criminal Justice Research on June 17, 2015

“Examines the frequency, severity, locational and temporal aspects of firefighter injuries in British Columbia, and proposes recommendations to enhance the health and safety of personnel.  Does not address occupational diseases such as cancer.   Demonstrates that firefighter injuries in the province of British Columbia (BC) are infrequent; with few cases requiring hospitalization or extended medical leave.”

Read more from the Centre on fire in British Columbia.

New National Civil Defence Emergency Plan released

A new national CDEM Plan will come into force on 1 December 2015.  Just released by the Minister, the new plan is part of the mandated revision cycle. It was delayed to incorporate learnings from the Canterbury earthquakes.​

Read more 

New Zealand’s new Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan approved
Press release, Hon Nikki Kaye, 5 June

Read the plan here – an Order in Council (what is that?)

National civil defence emergency management​ plan order 2015

Revised national civil defence emergency management plan – FAQ,  June 2015​

False alarms at student halls drop by 80% – Glasgow

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have partnered with Glasgow University to drastically reduce false alarm call outs to student halls of residents.  The key has been engaging with students with fire safety education and the use of new “smart detector” alarms in the halls of residence.

​Glasgow partnership sees 80% drop in false alarms at student halls
Scottish Fire and Rescue – press release, 1 May

False fire alarm call-outs at Glasgow student halls drop by80%​
Glasgow Evening Times, 28 May

Scottish Fire and Rescue – Student Safety leaflet

IAFSS archive on Google Scholar

A Google scholar search will now pick up content from the International Association of Fire safety science publication archive.  Sources include:

Press release from IAFSS  (30 April).

NFPA Journal launches new podcast service

Are you a podcast addict? Find yourself listening in the car, while cooking dinner, brushing your teeth, doing chores?  You’ve probably got my ear buds in now.

Podcasts are a great way to be engaged and learning while taking care of some of life’s more mundane and mindless tasks.

NFPA podcasts will explore in greater depth some of the issues and topics covered in the NFPA Journal and bring them to you in audio form. Each month, they will pick an interesting article, column, or idea from Journal, and talk to the author or an expert, and dive deep into what the issues are, and what you should know— all in 20 minutes or less.

The first edition of NFPA Journal Podcast (released April 14) covers the concept of resiliency—which in recent years has become a huge buzzword in the emergency planning, security and business worlds.

NZFS personnel can read issues of NFPA Journal online via NZFS Library webpage on Firenet.

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

Each year 28 April is acknowledged as Workers’ Memorial Day, or as WorkSafe NZ and the International Labour Organization (ILO) describe it, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

This year they’ve created a SafeDay website with an interactive page for people to help build a culture of prevention. Why don’t you join them and play!

NZ study shows smoke alarms less likely in rental homes

Interviews with the parents of almost 7,000 children under two years old, found that 28% of privately owned rentals don’t have working smoke alarms.

The study found:
 Families who lived in private rental homes were less likely to have a working smoke alarm (28% without smoke alarm) than those who lived in their own home (14%), or in public or social rental accommodation (9%). In addition, families who lived in the most deprived areas (NZDep deciles 8-10) were less likely to have a working smoke alarm than those who lived in the least deprived areas (NZDep deciles 1-3).
Around 80% of households kept matches out of reach.
Read the summary on the lives of 2 year olds, from the Growing up in New Zealand, longitudinal study.
Or read the full report
Growing Up in New Zealand is New Zealand’s contemporary longitudinal study tracking the development of approximately 7,000 New Zealand children from before birth until they are young adults. The children were born between April 2009 and March 2010. The study is run out of the University of Auckland.
The study has produced 5 major reports to date.

Queensland review – bullying and sexual harrassment

On 3 October 2014 the Premier engaged Margaret Allison to conduct an independent review of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and Public Safety Business Agency’s (PSBA) handling of sexual harassment and workplace bullying, in response to an incident involving Queensland firefighters…..the report was delivered to the Premier on 19 December 2014. The report has two parts: an independent assessment of the organisational management of the particular incident involving QFES staff, and observations about culture within QFES that gave rise to the incident in question.

Read the report

More from the Queensland Government, including

The statement from report author Margaret Allison (pdf)


Read a brief comment by Michael Eburn at his Australian emergency law blog.

Sourced via AIPM’s blog Know it know.

Quebec tragedy inquest

Volunteer training and fire safety provisions are in focus in Canada, in the aftermath of a January fire in a seniors’ residence which left 32 people dead.

A coronial inquiry to the fire in L’Isle-Verte, Quebec, began in November. It has been extended.  It has generated some media.

 Quebec government boosts funding for volunteer firefighters CBC news, Montreal 12 Dec

  • Quebec Public Safety Minister Lise Thériault says program will cost $19.5M over five years
  • Witnesses who testified at an ongoing coroner’s inquest into the incident have described firefighters arriving ill-prepared for the scale of the blaze


L’Isle-Verte residence met all government norms, inquest told Montreal Gazette, 17 Nov

“Because it was built in 1997, the wing of the Résidence du Havre that burned was not required to have sprinklers and smoke detectors in residents’ rooms were not connected to a central alarm system, the inquiry heard.

An adjoining wing of the residence, built in 2003, was equipped with sprinklers and was separated by a firewall. It did not burn and its residents escaped the fire.”


L’Isle-Verte rescue effort was ‘free for all,’ witness says
CBC news, Montreal 27 Nov
“Good Samaritan Pascal Paquin traumatized by what he witnessed during rescue effort.”


Fire Safety Assessment Report for Licensed Residential Care Facilities and Registered Assisted Living Residences  (pdf)
November 17, 2014
“Following a tragic fire at a seniors` residence in Quebec….. British Columbia (BC)is reviewing the fire safety provisions in residential care facilities and registered assisted living residences.”