Posts by Liz Scott-Wilson

  • Hard News: Republished: The CTV collapse…, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Matthew - alas all of us not directly involved can only ever be armchair generals - and you're right I'm not an emergency responder so am woefully underqualified for many things.

    One thing I can opine on - sunshine is the best antiseptic especially when it comes to public affairs. Keeping things quiet and hidden away, when there is a public interest, just leads to whispers of cover-ups and looking after our mates.

    I think the coroner got the right balance - they should have done things better. The coroner specified where things should have been better. And it is his call that poor performance didn't result in unnecessary deaths.

    Do I feel reassured by the NZFS CEO saying learnings had been learned - somewhat - as experience IS the best teacher. And you (and others) are right - these things don't happen all that often.

    But experience can't be our only teacher.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2013 • 2 posts Report

  • Hard News: Republished: The CTV collapse…,

    Jarrod's account is certainly heartfelt and moving. I listened with interest to the National Radio interview with the Fire Service CEO this morning.

    One thought that keeps being expressed by the Fire Service CEO is that ...

    “The fire officers in command of NZFS resources at the CTV site were faced with a situation that no other officer in the history of NZFS has had to face. It is widely accepted that a natural disaster of this scale presented challenges beyond the training, experience and resources of the service particularly given the multiple sites.”

    This is not good enough.

    Many of the type of events the emergency services train for have NEVER been experienced by the people responding to the event - especially the big civil defence type events.

    That's why organisations send their people to training exercises. And to visit overseas sites of such disasters. And bring people with that experience to train and educate our people here in NZ.

    The great unspoken (it seems to me) is that senior staff at the site of the CTV building did not do what they should have been trained and educated to do.

    In the words of the Pilling report...

    "However, it does not appear that there was at any time a strategic plan in place driving the sum of the parts. Both strategic leadership and direction together with tactical structure and organisation could have been more effective during the first 12 hours of the incident. Preparedness and resilience require fresh focus and investment."

    Actual people at the CTV site failed to do these things. The thought that they were not trained to do so is almost unbearable. If they were trained and failed to do so, well that's what accountability is for.

    And the sentiment from the CE is laudable - the sound of staff being protected from public censure is not so laudable.

    If staff are being counselled internally and accountability is being assigned and responsibility accepted away from the public gaze - well I understand that but honestly it's not good enough.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2013 • 2 posts Report