The Mount Compass CFS Captain has been suspended after speaking out about 'ineffective' new rescue trucks.
Anthony Baker posted on the brigade’s official Facebook page on September 3, with criticsm about the new fleet of purpose-built 34P trucks, which could technically only be filled to 75% capacity under SA regulations.
“The new 34P that was delivered to the Mount Compass brigade has had a number of issues including being overweight since delivery," the post on the Mount Compass CFS Facebook post read.
“Yes that’s correct, the truck that cost the taxpayers ($500,000) is a lemon along with the other 5 that have been delivered to other brigades with the same issues. So that’s 6 purpose built trucks that are not suitable for what they were made for.”
The truck was taken to CFS headquarters, leaving the station without a second truck for six weeks as the Department for Transport and Infrastructure and National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, successfully worked to issue the new fleet an exemption to run at a heavier weight than normally allowed.
Mr Baker also questioned the safety of the new truck, which Minister David Basham has sought clarification on, according to the Advertiser.
"It’s slightly overweight on the rear axle but it is not unsafe by any means," Minister Basham told the Advertiser.
He said all 34P trucks are now deemed operational and do not pose an operational risk ahead of the bushfire season.
An investigation has been launched this week by the the CFS.
All CFS members are bound by SA's Fire and Emergency Act 2005, which include possible suspensions as a penalty for breaches.
Photo supplied Mount Compass CFS