Traffic congestion across Melbourne's sprawling urban fringe is making it harder for firefighters to get to jobs in time, new data shows.
Brigade response data has been released for the first time for Victoria’s Country Fire Authority and Metropolitan Fire Brigade, showing trucks are mostly hampered in suburbs on Melbourne’s fringes.
CFA chief officer Steve Warrington says volunteers often struggle to drive through traffic to their unit after receiving an alert about a fire.
“Particularly as we get congestion around Melbourne, there can be struggles to get to the fire station to get the truck out,” Mr Warrington told ABC radio on Monday.
The CFA aims to get to fires within eight minutes 90 per cent of the time, but statewide, brigades only got to 87 per cent of blazes within the target.
The Victorian government is trying to split the volunteer part of the CFA and merge its paid firefighters with the MFB to create a new organisation.
The changes, which were in part designed to fix a political impasse over a controversial union pay deal, are stalled in the upper house.