UFUSA Covid19


Wordback No 16 of 2020 advised members that Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 3) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 came into effect at 0845hrs on 21 April 2020 enabling emergency services to enter an aged care facility, regardless of a Flu vaccination, in cases of emergency. 

Members have advised us that despite this Direction, MFS procedures for responding to an alarm continue to require information of vaccination status. This matter has been addressed with MFS management and we are hopeful of an appropriate resolution in the very near future. 


There is a slow careful return to some training under a stringent risk assessment process following a great deal of consultation between the UFU and the MFS. 

These arrangements will be monitored and reviewed to ensure all safeguards, particularly physical distancing and hygiene measures, are in place and continue to be implemented, to protect against UFU members being affected by a potential “2nd wave” of the coronavirus. 

The MFS is also considering the reversal of the limitation of physical training to stations, now that councils are reopening park gyms and playgrounds; members are reminded to continue to use the precautionary measures which have been so successful in “flattening the curve”. 

Members involved in any training are asked to help by raising any concerns immediately and to advise us if those concerns are not addressed expeditiously. 


There has been some discussion of a return to “presence training nights” next week for Retained Firefighters in Regional Operations; however, concerns have been expressed in relation to the ability of regional stations to afford the requirements necessary for physical distancing. 

Accordingly, agreement has not yet been reached for the reinstatement of “presence training nights” in regional operations. The parties are continuing to work hard towards that occurring and it is understood that a risk assessment will shortly be undertaken by the MFS of each workplace to ensure that the rigorous standards which have kept 2 

us safe to date will not be undermined. Sadly, facilities in regional operations in the main, still lag markedly behind most of those in metropolitan operations. 


As we await decisions from the federal government and health authorities about the potential for some community restrictions to be relaxed, we are committed to working with the employers of our members on organisational recovery plans, providing for considered vigilant methodology as interim coronavirus policies and procedures are considered for recission with a gradual return to standard operating principles and procedures. 

UFUSA members welcome a conservative approach to recovery while maintaining the ability to continue to provide efficient and effective fire and emergency services while reducing the risk of exposure to Covid 19 and especially the potential for a 2nd wave. 


The UFUSA continues to negotiate with Broadspectrum in relation to paid Covid-19 isolation leave for members employed at Edinburgh and Woomera and for updated accommodation at Edinburgh RAAF base. 


Concern has been expressed in relation to a reported move by Air Services to cease firefighting coverage at Adelaide Airport during the airport curfew hours, from 11 May 2020. 

The UFUSA understands that Air Services intends for the work of aviation firefighters to be transferred to the SAMFS, ignoring requirements of legislation, resourcing, WHS issues, training, appliances and equipment, and importantly, industrial and moral considerations. 

This appears to be a strategy to use the current COVID-19 circumstances in a most abhorrent and cynical way to achieve an industrial end long sought by the employer. 

Our union is committed to standing in solidarity with UFU members in the UFU Aviation Branch and members will be kept informed of any developments. 


On Monday, 27 April 2020 at 14:00 hours our union appeared by videoconference before Mr Mick Keelty who is conducting this Review, to address our Submission. 

Despite some technical issues, Chas Thomas and Gideon Douglas clearly and strongly articulated the concerns you have raised with us about what happened during “Black Summer” and what lessons there are to be learnt from those experiences. 

It is likely that we will make a supplementary submission in response to a number of issues raised by Mr Keelty and members will be kept informed.


Thank you to everyone who has become involved; already there are stories circulating of the extraordinary efforts of members and your families and friends in support of this important initiative.

As you know, UFU T-shirts are part of your registration and will come in handy for when you keep a photographic record of your runs and send them in.  

There are still T-shirts waiting for collection at the union office so please do call us soon on 8352 7211 to make arrangements to come and pick up your T-shirts. 

Send photos of your efforts to and the Mother’s Day Classic Facebook (@mdcwalkrun) and Instagram (@mdc_walk_run) pages and #mdc2020 #makeitmeanmore. 

Stop Breast Cancer


You’ll go in the competition for the UFUSA prizes for: 

1. Most outlandish (but tasteful!) costume(s) 

2. Most innovative way of completing the event in the workplace (must adhere to social distancing guidelines). 

3. Most family/team members registered under the “United Firefighters Union of SA” team. 

Entries must be in by Monday, 11 May. Prize winners will be notified during the week. 

Thank you for your support, happy Mother’s Day and good luck with the competition. 

In solidarity 


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