The Nowra Fire and Rescue NSW station is listed as one of 30 stations across the state that might be temporarily closed, a move, fire unions say, could leave some of the state's "most vulnerable areas" without a fire station.
The greater Nowra area is serviced by two NSWFR crews - the full time station (Shoalhaven), based at the Flinders Industrial Estate at South Nowra and the retained brigade (on call) in Bridge Road, Nowra.
The NSW Government is pushing to temporarily close stations in the event of staffing shortages and if the moves goes ahead the Bridge Road station and Nowra brigade which has operated for more than 100 years, could close.
"Catastrophic" fires could result, Leighton Drury of the Fire Brigade Employees Union says.
Nowra along with Illawarra stations Helensburgh and Scarborough are three of the stations which would be affected by the proposed changes.
Mr Drury said "there's absolutely the potential" for a repeat of the Black Summer bushfires, which killed 25 people, if the proposed cuts go ahead.
"The longer you leave a fire burning the bigger it gets and the harder it becomes to control," he said.
We used to have a guaranteed response time of eight minutes - now we don't guarantee a response time at all- Leighton Drury, Fire Brigade Employees Union
Fire and Rescue NSW denies there are any plans to cut services.
"We are not closing fire stations," a spokesperson said.
"Trucks will only be temporarily taken offline if it is safe to do so and there are other trucks in the network which could quickly respond to an incident."
When asked how long trucks might be taken offline for, Fire and Rescue NSW did not respond.
The union says there has been no upper limit placed on how long stations might be closed for in the event of insufficient local retained firefighters being available.
"If a fire station is not available it takes longer for resources to come from elsewhere," Mr Drury said.
"Minutes count in a fire. We used to have a guaranteed response time of eight minutes - now we don't guarantee a response time at all."
Mr Drury rejected suggestions that Rural Fire service volunteers could breach the gap.
"The RFS is made up of volunteers, there's no guarantee of service," he said.
"We don't just respond to fires, it's motor vehicle accidents, chemical spills, flooding. Being late to any of these can mean lives lost. We're the largest accredited rescue organisation in NSW - our capability goes beyond what the RFS is able to provide."
The union says the proposed changes are part of an ongoing cost-cutting exercise by the NSW Government.
"The shortage happens for a number of reasons," Mr Drury said.
"Retained firefighters on call have their own lives so their availability will always differ. It comes down to there not being enough retained firefighters and positions not being backfilled because of the cost.
"The state government hasn't given Fire and Rescue enough money over the past few years, and we can't operate the way we need to protect the community as a result."
Member for the South Coast, Shelley Hancock and Member for Heathcote, Lee Evans, were both contacted for comment, but neither had responded by the time of publication.
Mr Drury said he hoped the community would pressure their local MP's to guarantee Fire and Rescue NSW stations would be given the funds they need to remain open around the clock.
"We've been fighting this with Industrial Relations for two years, but at the end of the day the NSW Government can provide the budget, and it's going to take political pressure to fix," he said.
The NSW Government and Australian Government say they funded a $4.5 billion program for bushfire recovery, response and preparedness in NSW. It is not known how much, if any of that money went to frontline fire services.
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