Reply To: Meetings held with CFA, MFB, EMV and others

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Home Forums – VMBSG CFA MFB Reference Group Meetings held with CFA, MFB, EMV and others Reply To: Meetings held with CFA, MFB, EMV and others

#2588
Hans Tracksdorf
Participant

Emergency Call out response is a growing area of concern for me as the MBS in the regional city of Bendigo ( Population 120000 ), mainly because the expectation has changed over the years. We provide a 24/7 response emergency call out, primarily relayed thru an interstate call centre in NSW, asking for MBS to attend whatever emergency, to assess – Structural damage; If the building can be pulled down?; If the house can be lived in? In the ‘old days’, some of these type of ‘on the spot decisions’ were made by the responding agencies other than council but now everyone is looking to handball that decision making process onto someone else, to avoid responsibility. My understanding of the act and regulations ,( in general terms) is that MBS is to ensure public safety in the event of building damage due to fire , flood, car damage ( we’ve had 5 of these in the last two months), etc, Quite often this can be achieved by evacuation and fencing off, however the issues of assessing structural damage and the others that we often get asked, are getting a lot broader than what I feel the act and regulations spell out. We generally receive 2-3 call outs per month (circa 30 per year) but so far for the first 2 months of this year, we’ve received 8. These can be at all hours of the day and night. With the night time ones ( im the only one who will respond, as the only other staff available are registered as inspectors ( all seniors ) and understandably are reluctant to get involved afterhours.) We’ll general drill down to find out how critical it is that someone attend immediately, as from experience we’ve found that a large percentage of the house fire call outs, can be viewed the following day. The issue becomes problematic when the MBS is away ( generally hiking ),as then im not sure who they rely on. Councils has a well organised afterhours Engineering -Mero backup to assist but its the assessment process, which urgently needs to be reviewed, as I understand that its a bit hit and miss around Victoria and I know that some fairly large councils have relied on private building surveyors to attend call out on their behalf’s!
This review discussion is a good starting off point as a guide document would be helpful , spelling out what we don’t need to do!
Cheers Hans Tracksdorf
MBS . City of Greater Bendigo
PS . For me this role is a love job. ie . No extra pay.