If a major bushfire happened tomorrow Tasmania Fire Service would not be ready, a key union says.
United Firefighters Union northern regional organiser Dennis Mullins said TFS remote area firefighting teams were suspended months ago after an improvement notice was issued in part because there was no plan in place to extract remote attack teams out of bushfire areas if they were injured.
"I believe, given the current performance improvement notices in place, the capacity of Tasmania Fire Service to respond to a massive bushfire event is not as good now as it was last year," he said.
TFS chief officer Chris Arnol said TFS was ready for and responded to major bushfires last year, with the largest area burnt since 1967 and no lives lost.
Employers must cease work subject to an improvement notice until a risk assessment is done and an alternative plan is in place.
Mr Arnol said they were working with health and safety representatives and Work Safe Tasmania so correct processes were followed to resolve the remote area firefighting matter as soon as possible.
"The health and safety representative who raised the matter has formally responded to our proposed resolutions [on Thursday] following open dialogue between all parties and progress is being made," he said.
Mr Arnol said TFS hoped to have the provisional improvement notices for remote firefighting removed by the summer season.
But Mr Mullins said bushfires can't read calendars.
"We're saying the bushfire season doesn't mean a thing anymore. As we have seen in both Queensland and NSW in the last week, fires are happening now," he said.
"We could have a catastrophic fire event in Tasmania any time from now out and, sadly, we are in a situation where there may not be trained career firefighters on site to do the work they need to do."
Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council released a review on responses to the 2018-19 state bushfires which burned large swathes of remote-area forests for months. The report recommended volunteer remote area firefighting teams be established.
"The Tasmania Fire Service management has actually failed to meet their commitment, they indicated they would have volunteer remote attack teams ahead of this fire season and that hasn't occurred either," Mr Mullins said.
The remote area teams are highly trained, with Mr Mullins saying volunteers do a fantastic job but the role is not suited to them.
"You need an incredibly high level of availability both in terms of being able to deploy immediately and also be able to stay there for a protracted period to control fire events before they get out of control," Mr Mullins said.
"For volunteers it is incredibly tough on them if you say to them, 'come out, deploy immediately and stay out here for weeks on end'."
The union wants TFS to come up with a plan to get injured firefighters out of emergency situations in bushland.
"So far the Tas Fire Service has been excellent in coming forward with information, but what they haven't done as yet is come up with either a plan or risk assessment," Mr Mullins said.
Mr Arnol said a joint operating protocol for remote area firefighting was being adopted, with site specific medivac plans required for each deployment.
"There cannot be a generic medivac plan for complex operational situations," Mr Arnol said.