Jobs safe under emergency services merger, SA Government promises

No jobs will be cut if a proposed merger of emergency services goes ahead, South Australian Minister Tony Piccolo says.

A discussion paper suggested consolidating the administrative functions of the Metropolitan Fire Service, Country Fire Service (CFS) and State Emergency Service (SES).

Emergency Services Minister Tony Piccolo said roles could be expected to change under a restructure.

Mr Piccolo said administrative and management resources would be shifted to front-line services to improve training and best equip those who perform rescue and firefighting work.

"The aim isn't to cut money out of the sector because any saving made through removing duplication and changing the management structures etcetera will be reinvested in the sector and front-line services, I can give that assurance," he said.

"The draft model integrates them into a single organisation at the higher level, led by a chief but leaves three services on the ground."

Family First MLC Rob Brokenshire is worried how changes might affect some of the important jobs currently being done.

"I want the minister to come out publicly today and rule out the removal of the chief fire officers, the deputy chief fire officers and director of the SES," he said.

"If we had a major state disaster and you're relying on the coordinator to be a commissioner rather than the chief fire officers and the director of the State Emergency Service, I think you've got a major problem potentially and I don't believe the Government understand what they're actually trying to do."

CFS Volunteers Association president Roger Flavell said training systems needed to remain separate.

"We really need to look after our volunteers because without them a lot of country areas are going to be in serious trouble," he said.

The volunteers association for the SES said it too would raise the issues of training and support for the work of volunteers.

The State Government said the planned reform stemmed from a need to respond to the Holloway review of the departmental structure.

Mr Piccolo said the discussion paper was open for public comment until Friday October 24 and could be found at the SA Fire and Emergency Services Commission website.