Bureaucracy burns down a house
The bureaucrats concerned could benefit from a bullet in the head
NSW Fire Brigade officers had to sit in their station and do nothing as a house burned down just 10 minutes away because of a farcical rule.
As the house burned at Port Macquarie on September 11, the NSWFB members, who were ready to respond, were grounded by their superiors as the home was in the jurisdiction of the Rural Fire Service.
But it took the local North Shore rural brigade more than 15 minutes to arrive and another 30 minutes for support units to arrive from Lake Cathie, Pembroke and Telegraph Point. In the meantime, the fire had gutted the Riverside Drive house.
The Daily Telegraph has been told archaic laws had kept the urban firefighters inside their station.
Ashley Grady and her mum Susan lost everything in the blaze. Ashley, 19, said yesterday she could not understand why firefighters would not be sent if they were available. "Yes I have heard about what happened. It's disappointing," she said.
A NSWFB spokeswoman said "in line with agreed protocols, the RFS was notified of the call, because the house was located in an RFS fire district". But she said "additional resources can be provided by either agency upon request".