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Union blacklists second fire truck

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/08/2016

A second fire truck has been blacklisted in rare union action only days after the New Zealand Fire Service rejected claims from firefighters the trucks are a safety hazard.

A "long list of faults" prompted the New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union to blacklist a MAN appliance at Auckland City Station last week, and that ban has now been extended to include a Christchurch City truck.

"They're all the same truck with bad DNA, the risk to firefighters and the public is to great," union spokesman Boyd Raines said.

He cited ongoing issues, build issues and overall quality as the reason for pulling the Christchurch truck from service.

Issues with the MAN appliances have included pump and batteries failures and broken door handles that prevent firefighters getting in or out of a truck.

At one incident, Mr Raines said the first truck to respond to a house fire in Grey Lynn were unable to start firefighting because their pump failed, while the second truck couldn't attend because its battery failed.

He said firefighters had lost trust and confidence in the MAN model trucks, prompting the blacklisting for the first time in two decades.

Auckland region fire manager Kerry Gregory told NZ Newswire after the last blacklisting that the Fire Service was working with the union to resolve a number of "teething" issues with trucks.

He accepted it was frustrating for firefighters but said none of the faults had put the public or firefighters at risk.

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