Press releases 2012

Firefighters raise the alarm over threat to the fire and rescue service revealed in government figures

Deep cuts inflicted on the fire and rescue service laid bare in government figures threaten to strike at the heart of the service provided to the public, the Fire Brigades Union is warning.

Funding figures published as part of the local government settlement show that metropolitan and combined fire and rescue services in England face a whopping 4.4% cut for next year (2013-14) and another 3.1% the following year (2014-15). more »

FBU response to Capita named as preferred bidder for the Fire Service College

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary said: “The Fire Service College provides world-class training and has a well won reputation for excellence. Today’s announcement is yet another instance of creeping privatisation in the fire and rescue service, and the public will be the losers.
“We need to call a halt to companies profiteering from a public service designed to keep the public safe. The government should be investing in this globally recognised centre of excellence – not hiving it off to profiteers. It is ideologically driven and quite shameful. The fire and rescue service is there to serve the public – and its assets should be owned by them. The vultures are circling because they smell profit.” more »

Justice still needed for victims of Marlie Farm explosion six years on

Six years after firefighters Geoff Wicker and Brian Wembridge were killed at Marlie Farm, the relatives of the deceased and the injured firefighters are still fighting for compensation.

Two firefighters were killed and a further nine firefighters were injured at an explosion at Marlie Farm on 3 December 2006. Six years on, the families and firefighters affected have still not received compensation. Legal costs for all parties involved have already run into millions of pounds. more »

Slashing spending means fire stations will close – putting public at increased risk, firefighters warn

Nearly seventy fire stations in England are at risk of closure and scores more throughout the UK face severe downgrading if the government presses ahead, as expected with unprecedented spending cuts, the Fire Brigades Union warns.

Public safety risks being compromised and a service the public relies on downgraded behind the scenes without proper public debate, the union is warning in a fresh analysis of cuts already announced and expected in fire and rescue services across the UK. more »

South West floods – FBU tells MPs “wake up” to consequences of cuts

After the extraordinary professionalism of fire crews who worked around the clock for days on end to deal with massive floods in the South West, the FBU has written to politicians in the region and told them that the union now expects investment in the service and the threat of front-line cuts to be removed. more »

Firefighters warn – emergency response to flooding threatened by cutbacks

Relentless cuts to frontline 999 services threaten to hamper firefighters’ ability to respond to floods and other emergencies, the Fire Brigades Union warned today, as parts of England grappled with the fallout from heavy downpours.

Savage spending cuts imposed on fire and rescue services by central government will lead to fewer fire stations, fewer fire engines and fewer firefighters – leaving local emergency crews ill-equipped to deal with floods, fires and other emergencies, the union is warning. These reductions will effect emergency response times. more »

South West floods – FBU puts politicians on notice

After yet another night of extraordinary professionalism from fire crews dealing with massive floods in the South West, the FBU has put politicians on notice that they expect the threat of front line cuts to be removed. Last night proved to be another very busy night for fire crews in the South West dealing with widespread flooding throughout the region.

As the very serious weather situation developed, plans were initiated by the fire service which has seen crews and equipment from other areas of the UK arrive in the region in order to assist with the situation. more »

“Alarming figures revealing 30,000 Surrey fire engines off the road must be wake up call to Surrey county council. Surrey firefighters call for immediate investment in the frontline – and an end to private sector deals

The Fire Brigades Union is calling for immediate investment in frontline services as official figures reveal Surrey’s fire engines have been off the road an “alarming” 30,000 times in the past four years. The figures have been flushed out by a freedom of information request.  

Richard Jones, Fire Brigades Union brigade secretary in Surrey, said, “These alarming figures back up FBU warnings that cuts to crewing levels and recruitment pose a real threat to public and firefighter safety. more »

Firefighters call on Boris Johnson to take London’s fire engines back into public ownership

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has called on Boris Johnson to take the capital’s fire engines back into public ownership following the announcement that yet another private company – the third in as many months – was being appointed to manage the fleet.

The London Fire Brigade today terminated the contract between itself and Premier FireServe, owned by venture capitalist Sir Aubrey Brocklebank, who assumed control of the fleet after he bought out the previous owners, crisis-hit AssetCo, for just £2 in August. more »

Firefighters raise the alarm–deepening cuts to the fire and rescue service will cost lives. MPs and public urged to speak out to defend 999 fire service before it’s too late

Firefighters from across the UK will be in London tomorrow (Nov 7) to lobby MPs and alert the public to the growing threat posed to the fire service by the government’s relentless drive for austerity cuts.

The Fire Brigades Union is ratcheting up its campaign to raise public awareness of the deep damage the further cuts will inflict. more »

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