Labour Research November 2015


Firefighters lobby over cuts

Last month, firefighters from around the country descended on Parliament to lobby Members of Parliament about the future of the fire and rescue service amid huge concerns about public safety.

The members of the FBU firefighters’ union are calling on MPs to defend the fire and rescue service against the worst cuts it has ever known.

More than 7000 frontline firefighter jobs have gone since 2010 as cuts of 30% have taken their toll. And the FBU has warned that more cuts will decimate the service.

Firefighters are also concerned about government proposals for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to take over the fire and rescue service, arguing that this would pose a huge threat to the independence of firefighters who rely on the public’s trust to enable them to access their homes.  

The union believes that law enforcement and the humanitarian service provided by firefighters do not mix.

“Firefighters are extremely angry about what the last government and now this Tory government are doing to their service,” said Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU.

“Public safety is already being put at risk, and it’s set to get worse if the attacks continue — just because there are fewer fires, it doesn’t justify the longer response times and reduced crews we are now seeing — firefighters still need to arrive quickly in adequate numbers at the scene of an incident.”