Emergency response equipment is being stored sporadically across two Northern fire stations after the demolition of a condemned storage building, the United Firefighters Union says.
But Tasmania Fire Service regional chief Jeff Harper said alternative storage areas had been developed at both Rocherlea and Launceston fire stations, which included cladding and shelving from a disused carport at Rocherlea, and conversion of a disused accommodation area at Launceston.
"Launceston Fire Brigade's building committee, which is made up of Launceston firefighters and station officers, has had alternate plans drafted for the redevelopment of the site at the rear of the station," Mr Harper said.
"The committee is working through a collaborative and cooperative process and once they have finalised a decision on those plans a funding application will be made."
Problems with the two-storey building behind the Launceston Fire Station on Paterson Street were first raised in 2014, when firefighters noticed visible cracking of the walls.
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Regular inspections of the building, which was housed storeroom and a gym for Tasmania Fire Service members, had been conducted since 2007 because of ground movement issues.
But the building was vacated in May 2017 after a report by MV Consulting recommended either substantial remediation work or the building be demolished.
United Firefighters Union northern regional organiser Dennis Mullins said the building was used to store marine response, trench rescue and confined space rescue equipment.
The union said the equipment was being stored throughout the Launceston station, with some of it being held at the Rocherlea station, which caused a number of issues.
"It isn't being stored in water-tight areas, more people are now required to know where equipment is and maintenance is only happening if issues are observed," Mr Mullins said.
"There was $400,000 budgeted for a new storage building, but that money went missing when firefighters merged with the Department of Fire and Emergency Management," Mr Mullins said.
The approved projects for the 2019-20 budget period included the statewide hose repair facility which is based at Youngtown and the personal protective clothing storage facility at Hobart.
The union said the storage issues mean crews could be forced to go back and forth between the Rocherlea and Launceston stations to collect equipment before attending time critical incidents.
For example, the union said the two-and-a-half metre trench-rescue boards were being stored at Rocherlea, despite potentially life-threatening circumstances in trenching more likely to occur around the city.
There's only one truck with the capability to carry the boards, so the vehicle needs to be located, an operator tasked and finding the boards at the station before being loaded onto the truck and dispatched to the incident, the union said.