More fire fatalities if lessons not learned, Fire Brigades Union says

The FBU has warned that more firefighters could be seriously injured or killed at work if lessons are not learned from past fatalities.

A report by Stirling University, published earlier this year, found that in the last decade the number of firefighter deaths at fires in the UK had doubled from the previous decade.

Between 1993/94 – 2003/04 there were six firefighter deaths at fires but that figure jumped to 14 between 2004/05 – 2013/14.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Firefighting is a profession which deals with dangerous situations but there is no excuse for employers not to do everything possible to safeguard their staff.

“No worker should ever expect to lose their lives whilst on the job. Regrettably our investigations have found that similar errors lie behind a number of firefighter deaths at fires and other emergency incidents. This suggests that lessons are not being learned or applied by employers. This must be addressed.

“This is not an issue confined to the UK. Each year hundreds of thousands of workers across the world die from preventable ‘workplace accidents’ or occupational diseases.”

Members of the FBU marked International Workers Memorial Day, which took place on 28 April, with events taking place in Cardiff, Leeds, Grimsby, Glasgow and London.

An event held at Princess Street Gardens, Edinburgh paid special tribute to firefighter Ewan Williamson who tragically died whilst tackling a fire in the city in 2009.

The FBU has released its own report into the tragedy making 14 recommendations to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and other fire and rescue services.

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