“We’re extremely lucky to have people with this level of expertise in our province. And we wish them safe travels as they embark on this difficult task.” ― Susie Proulx-Daigle, NBU President
Fredericton (7 Feb. 2020) ― A total of 16 forest rangers from the province headed to Australia on February 6 to help fight the devastating wildfires in the country. Members of the New Brunswick Union (NBU/NUPGE), the group will be in Australia for a period of 31–35 days.
Skilled and highly trained group
In order to qualify to work in a challenging environment such as the one in Australia, members have to complete the WFX-FIT test, which according to its website,
is an unbiased, valid and reliable assessment of the ability of Wildland Firefighters (WFF) to meet the rigorous demands required to safely and efficiently complete the critical emergency tasks involved in wildland fire fighting in Canada.
An emergency wildland fire fighting task is defined as a task in which the safety of the fire fighter, a co-worker or the public may be compromised by failure to complete or inefficient job performance.
The WFX-FIT circuit is also based on the importance of working in various types of terrain as identified by the WFF. The circuit components are identical for WFF in all agencies because they simulate the physically demanding tasks all WFF face. The time it takes WFF to complete the tasks simulates the increasing difficulty of working in challenging terrains such as mountains and muskeg.
A strong commitment to help
President of the NBU, Susie Proulx-Daigle, said that these proud members want to go to Australia to help in this time of great need.
“It shows the compassion New Brunswickers have and their willingness to always help,” she said. “Our members have gone to other parts of the country to help in situations before, including the devastating fires in Fort McMurray."
“We’re extremely lucky to have people with this level of expertise in our province. And we wish them safe travels as they embark on this difficult task.”
Helping Australians face the wildfire crisis
The forest rangers will be working in the states of New South Wales and Victoria.
“We are proud that our highly trained forest rangers are willing to help relieve the crews that have been battling the historic fires in Australia,” said Mike Holland, Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development in a press release. “By assisting other agencies in combatting large, complex fires during their time of need, our forest rangers also gain valuable fire line experience that can be applied to forest fires here in New Brunswick.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE