Fire crew sent 18km to man other station 

Crew sent elsewhere: A vacant Fairfield fire station. Picture: Wesley Lonergan
Crew sent elsewhere: A vacant Fairfield fire station. Picture: Wesley Lonergan

FAIRFIELD fire station will shut its doors on some days so that firefighters can fill in positions at other stations across NSW.

On Wednesday, the station was empty for hours as its crew was redeployed to Macquarie Fields because of staff absences at that station.

A Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said it remained at Macquarie Fields until an afternoon shift change.

"Cabramatta, Guildford, Bonnyrigg Heights, Smithfield, Chester Hill and other fire stations in south-west Sydney remained operational with sufficient resources to cover fires and other emergencies in the area," the spokeswoman said.

"Community safety was not compromised and response times were unaffected."

As part of the government's policy, up to 20 Sydney fire stations could be shut on any given day.

Fairfield State Labor MP, Guy Zangari, lashed out and said placing Fairfield fire station "offline" (to use a technical term) was risking the lives of local residents.

"Why are my constituents' safety being put at risk? Everyone deserves to be safe," he said.

"To put firefighters in other places, to fill a hole, and to leave Fairfield station unattended is not acceptable. The government can come up with all the excuses."

A local firefighter, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was angered that fire stations such as Fairfield were forced to shut its doors to fill in positions at other stations.

"All firefighters know someone will get killed because of these closures," he said.

"If we take an annual leave day, than that will result in a fire station being shut. How will I feel if I took off an annual day and there was a fire and someone got killed?"