The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has called on the government to ‘urgently’ give firefighters a formal duty to respond to flooding. The call comes as huge swathes of the capital were left submerged after heavy rainfall this week.
Paul Embery, regional secretary of the FBU in London, said: “It is a scandal that the fire and rescue service has no formal duty to respond to flooding emergencies. It means firefighters are not properly funded for the work they do, with the most pressing concern being the lack of suitable equipment.
“Every time there are flooding emergencies we hear reports of firefighters having to do the job with defective equipment. For instance, our firefighters could be working in flood waters for hours at a time in ill-fitting dry suits that let water in. It is particularly bad for our female firefighters.
“The government needs to get a handle on the situation and give the fire and rescue service a statutory duty so firefighters can be properly resourced for the work they do.”