The general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union has responded to the publication of new figures by the mental health charity Mind that found 9 in 10 emergency services staff have experienced stress, low mood and poor mental health at some point whilst working for the emergency services.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Firefighters and other emergency service workers will welcome the publication of this report which draws attention to serious safety, health and welfare issues facing those on the frontline of our emergency services.
“Firefighters and other emergency service staff deal with very challenging situations every single day. These may involve members of the public who are killed, injured or in danger in some way. This work therefore creates its own unique stresses and challenges.
“In addition emergency service staff work 24 hours a day meaning that they may face such challenges at any time. It is well known that shift work creates its own challenges for the health and wellbeing of workers.
“This situation is worsened as a result of a huge reduction in staffing levels across all emergency services. Recent years have seen the introduction of increasingly unsociable shift patterns while front line staff try to deliver the service with fewer and fewer staff.
“All these have added to the stresses which already face those trying to deliver emergency services to our communities.”