30 May 2014

Fire crews didn't follow basic rules

9:00 pm on 30 May 2014

An investigation has found firefighters who went to a blaze didn't follow basic rules for using breathing apparatus and ensuring other officers knew where they were.

A firefighter was left trapped in the burning building in Petone last year for about eight minutes because no one realised he was missing.

The Fire Service said on Friday there is no widespread problem with firefighters not following the rules.

Deputy National Commander Paul McGill told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme that staff throughout the country know to implement procedures in an incident.

However, he said failure to do so comes down to the situation firefighters find themselves in at the time, and personal safety comes first.

"Just about all the people I speak to across the service, across New Zealand still say that there's a very high level of reliability about implementing those procedures."