Submitted: Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 14:06
ThreadID: 23756 Views:1769 Replies:2 FollowUps:3
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The Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service, Phil Koperberg has
issued an urgent warning to rural communities and farm holders after the
discovery of two deceased people yesterday on a property 60km south of
Bathurst. The couple had been overcome by toxic fumes as a result of a
small electrical fire. In the last month the RFS has attended almost 100
structure fires in regional NSW and there have been 6 fatalities as a
result of three of those fires.

"It is imperative that home owners in rural communities and those living
on remote properties take every available step to protect them and their
families from fire. A working smoke alarm must be installed and an
evacuation plan should be known and rehearsed by all family members.
Electrical and heating devices should be checked and if possible turned
off overnight," said the Commissioner.

"The tragic deaths of 2 children and 4 adults over the last month have
necessitated a warning message such as this. Smoke from a house fire is
extremely toxic. It is rarely the case that people are killed by contact
with flame. That's why it is essential to have a smoke alarm installed
so that adequate warning can be given for you and your family to get out
of the house. This is even more important when homes are remote and not
visible by neighbours."

"Having a smoke alarm is only the one part of protecting your family.
You should have a clear evacuation plan for your home and all persons in
the home should know what to do and where to meet outside if a fire
should occur. This evacuation plan should be rehearsed especially if
there are young children in the family."

"All electrical, gas, oil, or combustion type heaters should be checked
and cleaned. If possible these devices should be turned of overnight or
at least be checked to ensure there is no combustible material nearby.
Electric blankets and waterbed heaters should be inspected and ensure
power outlets throughout the house are not overloaded."

These simple steps could make a difference if a fire was to occur. As
always more information can be found by contacting your local fire
station, RFS Fire Control Centre or visit the RFS website at or NSW Fire Brigade website at

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Reply By: Member - Howard (ACT) - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 21:22

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 21:22
I assume this dh gave himself another ribbon to go with his fancy unifiorm for issuing that press release . be a good if he knew what a knap sack was,sorry he does know, its something he gets some else to carry while he stays in his big city office.
gees I remember when there used to be volunteer bush fire brigades. locals working for locals

thats vented my spleen better get out of here

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Follow Up By: D-Jack - Saturday, Jun 11, 2005 at 12:03

Saturday, Jun 11, 2005 at 12:03

That's not the Prime Minister is it? If so that's not the kind of response I would expect from you..

Instead of being critical of the man and calling him a dh (takes one to know one they say), maybe people could take in these obvious and common sense tips to staying alive, ones which people who respond like you did often seem to overlook.

There are still volunteer bush fire brigades working for the communities, locals working for locals. In South Australia we call them the CFS, or Country Fire Service (you might call them the Rural FS). If you'd ever worked for such an organisation you would know how pertinent the warnings are for out in the bush. I'm glad you're not the commissioner, 2 adults and 4 children die and you announce " bad luck, they should have had smoke detectors"

I hope you were just PMT at the time of writing your response, if not I am disappointed anyone on this forum would respond so in sound mind.

My spleen feels a lot better now too.

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Reply By: lazylcd - Saturday, Jun 11, 2005 at 23:40

Saturday, Jun 11, 2005 at 23:40
Mr Koperberg definatley knows what a knapsack is and knows how to use it, thats the funny thing about volunteers, they slave there guts out for little or no reward, and are elected by there peers, and not beurocrats. this man has done alot for the Blue mountains and nsw, i think we are extremely lucky to have a leader as strong as him, politions should really take note.

vote 1 Kopers
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Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 19:12

Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 19:12
thankyou D-Jack and lazylcd,

yes, for those in the service, and those that know Phil...

pretty PATHETIC post there Howard(ACT) but we all put one up once in a while I guess....

Are you going to have a (PATHETIC) go at Greg Mullins (another prominent Firie with great respect in the volunteer ranks) too? Or is this just about ....oh forget it.

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Follow Up By: Member - Howard (ACT) - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 13:32

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 13:32
I must apologise if you read my post as anti "Volunteer" ar anti"bush fire brigade"
In fact I was an active memberof that organisation from my teens for over 20 years.My father has a fifty years service medalion .While I now reside in the ACT the family has been involved as we are on the land.
I have a lot of respect for those that do the hard yards .

My issue is I see no need for the head of volunteer organisation to walk around with a uniform befitting the military head of a small nation , adorned with more amd more medals and ribbons every time he appears on television.

His over the top uniform and fruit salad presents him more as the head of a para military group than as representative of a volunteer organisation.

I also have issues with the direction of the RFS away from a fully volunteer group towards a part time paid fire service.

Before I draw more grief, I will just againn apologise to any individual involved as a volunteer in the fire service who may have tbeen offended by the post.


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