NSW RFS, world's biggest fire service - today 74,000 members ordered not to wear uniform in public because of terror threat
(Davidson RFS volunteer Tony Abbott in the uniform that could inflame Muslim terrorists)
This is not Australia, surely. It's certainly not the proud Australia whose indomitable spirit would not be cowed by foreign foes. Today one of our great institutions changed its ways because of staying the same might inflame Islamissts.
Here is the note from Bob Rogers AFSM, the Deputy Commissioner of the world's largest volunteer fire fighting service, the once-proud NSW RFS.
Personal safety and the wearing of NSW RFS uniform
Posted to Statewide on 30 Apr, 2015.
Filed under Membership Operations Safety & Welfare
The National Security Alert Level was raised in September 2014 and remains at High which means a terrorist attack is likely. An Operational Brief and memorandumto this effect were previously circulated.In light of recent events, advice has been sought from the NSW Police Force Counter Terrorism & Special Tactics Command (CTSTC) regarding the wearing of uniform to and from workplaces (eg. Fire Control Centres, Brigade Stations) by members of emergency services organisations.For those who intend to cause harm, a uniform represents Government and may not be easily distinguished between law enforcement and emergency service organisations. Whilst it is important that we go about everyday activities within minimal change, the safety of all NSW RFS members remains paramount.The similarity of Police uniforms with those worn by NSW RFS members is considered a risk by CTSTC. As such, CTSTC has recommended that emergency service personnel implement a number of measures to ensure member safety.It is important to note this recommendation is not based on any specific threat against emergency service personnel, rather on prudent measures given the overall National Security Alert level.Effective immediately, the following directive applies to all NSW RFS members until further notice. Please note this directive does not apply to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worn by members during field deployment.
- If travelling alone, members will avoid wearing operational, or corporate uniform to and from the Fire Control Centres/Brigade Stations, including travelling on public transport.
- When driving private or unmarked NSW RFS motor vehicles, members will cover up operational uniform, or avoid wearing it. This is less of an issue when travelling in clearly marked NSW RFS motor vehicles.
- Members who are required to travel through or utilise public areas to attend meetings and other normal daily business are encouraged to travel in groups wherever possible. If this is not possible, individuals are encouraged to consider wearing a garment to cover operational shirts.
- Members are strongly encouraged to maintain situational awareness of any suspicious activity.
I would ask all Directors and Managers to ensure this directive is circulated and adhered to within Districts/Sections.For further information, please visit the secureNSW website at www.secure.nsw.gov.au or the National Security website at www.nationalsecurity.gov.auAlternatively, please contact Superintendent Ben Millington (Manager, Emergency Management Co-ordination) on telephone 02 8741 5555.I thank you for your co-operation.
Rob Rogers AFSM, Deputy Commissioner.
Our country. Our traditions. Our values. 74,000 of our best citizens who freely give so much to protect the life and property of others. And today they were each told that the uniform they once wore with pride might get them killed.
Let it sink in. Our most generous, courageous and unselfish volunteers - told that because of "recent events" ( code for Islamist Terror attacks) - their uniforms put them at risk of a terror attack. They're a symbol of government and as Deputy Commissioner Rogers explained when he issued the directive, there lives among us "those who wish us harm".
The RFS volunteers include the very best of us. Their uniform should be a source of pride and it should attract attention - that is from those of us who'd like to say thank you for your service.
Australia changed a bit today. Terror won a little victory over us and our way of life. Once again we are changing our home so we remove things that might cause them offence. Like the fire brigade's uniform.
I have never felt more certain, sincere or correct in saying these words - it's our country, our flag, our uniforms and our traditions. If you don't like it, leave,