• Loddon Herald

Brigade boss plans appeal

WEDDERBURN Fire Brigade captain Anne Hassell is preparing an appeal after being stood down. by the CFA.

Ms Hassell was told last week that her diagnosis as a Type 1 diabetic meant she had been relieved of active firefighting duties.

“I am preparing for the appeal process ... it could take some months” she said.

She is one of a handful of active firefighters with the brigade, a member since 2009 and captain for the past four years.

Relieved of active duties, Ms Hassell has resigned as brigade captain.

Ms Hassell said the CFA decision left the brigade with just two or three members able to respond to most incidents.

She said loss of members through retirements, death and leaving down had made the brigade less functional in recent years. “We have been struggling for a while but we’re not the only brigade in trouble,” she said.

Ms Hassell said she had passed a heavy vehicle licence review after the diabetic diagnosis last year and informed the CFA of her result.

A CFA spokesperson said: “CFA has a duty of care to ensure all of its operational members can safely perform operational duties.

“Where CFA is aware of a medical condition which may impact a members’ ability to perform operational duties, a medical review will be undertaken to assess the individual’s ability to safely perform the role. This is not only for the safety of individuals, but also for other emergency service workers around them and the community.

“In many cases, members who are unable to perform operational roles will retain their CFA membership and contribute in non-operational roles,”

CFA District 20, that includes Loddon brigades, currently has 1398 operational with 685 members performing non-operational duties.


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