Faulty fire system ‘puts lives at risk

Richard  Willingham

State Political Correspondent for The Age

Lives are at risk because of a breakdown in the Metropolitan Fire Brigades’  dispatch system, the firefighters’ union has warned.

Last week, a problem with the state’s Firecom communications system emerged,  with the system failing to respond to emergency calls from Victoria’s Emergency  Services Telecommunications Authority. In some cases, the union says, dispatch  requests were not going to fire stations.

Firecom works in unison with ESTA by triggering alarms at the relevant fire  station and providing detail information and maps to firefighters about the  incident.

But the problem is that not all dispatches are being received and the MFB is  requiring dispatchers to call stations to ensure that the alarms are being  received.