Firefighters' union calls for changes

8:29 am on 7 March 2012

The firefighters' union says it fears a repeat of what it calls the chaotic response to the February earthquake in Christchurch unless Fire Service management makes changes recommended by an internal review.

The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission is being urged to look into the deaths of five women trapped inside the CTV building, amid claims they died because of an inept rescue effort by emergency services.

Professional Firefighters Union spokesperson Denis Fitzmaurice says a report last year pinpointed poor management as the reason fire crews were left operating in isolation from each other on the day of the quake.

The report identified a disconnect between management and staff and a lack of planning.

Mr Fitzmaurice says six months on, the issue still hasn't been resolved, meaning the same thing could easily happen again.

The Fire Service says the response of management and crews on the day must be weighed against the magnitude of the disaster.