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Firefighters black-list Auckland truck

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/08/2016

Firefighters have lost trust and confidence in new fire trucks that have faults they say are putting their lives and the lives of the public at risk.

A "long list of faults" has led the New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union to blacklist a MAN appliance at the Auckland City Station.

Water pumps not starting and door handles getting stuck, preventing firefighters getting in or out of the truck, are among the problems with the City 207 truck and others across the country, the union says.

Last week, two trucks called to a house fire in Grey Lynn were useless, says northern branch secretary Boyd Raines.

"The Grey Lynn truck turned up and the pump would not go into gear so they could not start firefighting and searching, and the second truck to that call was City 207 which failed to start, again," he told NZ Newswire.

The union has compiled a spreadsheet outlining more than 200 complaints issues, some affecting particular trucks and others that are across the board.

Mr Boyd said he would like to blacklist more of the trucks, but there were not enough replacements available.

The union, in the short term, wants to see problems with the trucks fixed. But it will take longer for firefighter trust and confidence to be restored.

"I know officers around the country riding on a MAN truck, and knowing a Scania (older appliance) is coming will hold off firefighting until a truck they know and have confidence in arrives," Mr Boyd said.

"I've been in the job over 30 years and I've never seen that before. That trust and confidence is going to take forever to come back."

The Fire Service wasn't immediately available to comment on the problems, but a spokesman told Fairfax Media a spare appliance had been brought in while the MAN was out of use.

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