Grenfell Tower

Grenfell Tower: A disaster that should never have happened

The scale of the fire that engulfed Grenfell Tower in June was unprecedented. Firefighters all around the world would have watched with horror as the fire took hold as it did. In over 30 years working within the fire and rescue service, I have never seen a fire pose such a huge threat to human life...

"You can beat it": One firefighter's battle with alcohol

Christian wants people dealing with alcohol addiction to know that help is out there. William Murphy reports. For the best part of 20 years, Wimbledon green watch firefighter Christian Crabb, 44, believed he was just a heavy drinker. He was fond of a beer now and then but he always had an element...

Exposing the shambolic Regional Fire Control project

Regional Fire Control needs to be exposed as one of the biggest acts of hypocrisy in modern politics, says Tam McFarlane For a government that takes great pleasure in cutting public services in the name of ‘efficiency savings’, the ongoing fiasco of empty Regional Fire Control Centres is surely one...

Women blazing a trail

Twenty-five female firefighters lost their lives during the Second World War – some of the forgotten heroines of the home front, writes Lynne Wallis Women worked as firefighters long before the Second World War. They were employed by private brigades and others like the one attached to the feminist...

Strong roots, strong union

William Murphy finds out how the FBU’s retired and out of trade section is going from strength to strength ROOT – the retired and out of trade section of the FBU – is home to around 6,500 former firefighters and control operators. These are members who have either left or retired from the fire...

Austerity: 1920s style

Attacks on workers’ pay after the First World War saw the Firemen’s Trade Union (FTU) going to court to stop a 20% cut, says Helen Hague In the aftermath of the First World War trade unions were deeply woven into national life. Wartime strikes had won pay rises and the government had even forced...

First man to row the black sea - on borrowed time

For a man who can’t remember his watch, Berkshire firefighter Scott Butler recalls a lot of special ‘moments’ – he spoke to Lynne Wallis Firefighter Scott Butler, who works on white watch at Wokingham, Berkshire, relishes new experiences so much he set himself a challenge to do something new every...

Time to end the pay freeze

Firefighters face many more years of real-terms pay cuts if the Westminster government gets its way, says Paul Hampton Firefighters’ pay must be a central priority for a union like the FBU. Getting decent wages for our members, for the work they do and for the benefits they deliver to our...

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