The United Firefighters Union (UFU) says stations are being forced to shut temporarily because the Queensland Government is not recruiting enough staff.

The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) has confirmed the Enoggera station on Brisbane's northside was closed for 10 hours on Saturday.

The QFRS says a high number of staff had called in sick and remaining firefighters were sent to other sites.

It says it cannot afford to replace all absences at overtime rates and that Enoggera was covered by other stations on Saturday.

The QFRS also says it is normal procedure to redeploy firefighters during an emergency or training exercises.

'Dangerous decision'

However, UFU president Mark Dearlove says the Queensland Government is putting lives at risk by shutting stations when they are short-staffed.

Mr Dearlove says it is a dangerous decision.

"I got phone calls from guys asking 'how can they do this? How can they shut stations? It's irresponsible'," he said.

"I don't know any government or any minister can think that's a reasonable thing to do.

"I don't know how the Minister Jack Dempsey can sleep at night knowing that people are being left uncovered."

Mr Dearlove says last week's fatal house fire in Brisbane highlights the importance of a quick response.

"We had a tragedy at Bracken Ridge, but the same night at Camp Hill we had someone saved and pulled out of a fire because the firefighters were there within a short time," he said.

"They're going to be at risk and coming into winter where people are starting to pull out their old heaters and everything else, it increases the chance of fires in this time of year."

Union 'playing games'

But Community Safety Minister Jack Dempsey says the closure could have been avoided by using casual staff.

"You've got to be reminded that all this is occurring while enterprise bargaining agreement is continuing and the UFU certainly needs to step up to the mark," he said.

"They've been given options to fix this particular issue in relation to casual shift coverage but the union bosses said no."

He says the union is playing games during enterprise bargaining agreements.

"They know that these stations are well-staffed and well-resourced, and they also know that we've got a 31 new recruits coming through the fire academy this Saturday with six new fire communications officers.

"We've even got another 22 new recruits who are commencing are recruiting course in two weeks."


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