fire crews tackling a fire

Firefighters' union call on government to tackle rise in fire deaths

Reacting to figures published in the Guardian showing a 21% rise in fire deaths over the past year Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said: “We are now witnessing the tragic results of such wrong-headed cuts to the fire and rescue service. Over the past five years, the government has cut 7,000 frontline firefighters jobs, closed more than 40 fire stations and axed scores of fire engines. This has culminated in the longest response times to fires for 20 years.

“Whereas the government’s focus should be on reducing the disturbing rise in fire-related deaths, they are instead continuing with discredited proposals for a police takeover of the fire service. These plans, which will only exacerbate the problems facing the fire service, show that this government is intent on saving money rather than lives.”

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