Fire control is the epicentre of the fire and rescue service, providing a crucial service to local communities and firefighters attending emergency incidents.
Our control members are hardworking, knowledgeable and dedicated professionals who are keeping things together through their sheer determination and dedication under extremely difficult circumstances. Too often, they are taken for granted and undervalued by fire and rescue services, bosses and politicians.
Control staff have been subjected to more than a decade of failed government policy, characterised by cuts, mergers and under-investment. New supposedly ‘state of the art’ mobilising systems are failing, leading to a deterioration in control performance and response times. Understaffing, excessive workloads and imposed shift changes are causing intolerable stress and anxiety which is impacting on both the health and welfare of control staff and on public safety. The culmination of these factors has left many control rooms across the UK at breaking point.
The FBU have produced this report to highlight the challenges in UK fire controls, and the effect this is having upon our members in control, on fire stations and on public safety. We hope that this report will help fire and rescue stakeholders to better understand the scale of the issues and work with us to take action.