New figures obtained by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) show that almost one in five frontline firefighter posts, some 11,000 jobs, have been lost since 2010, making it a post war record of firefighter job losses.
In total, these cuts mean that 19% of the entire firefighting workforce has been slashed.
The FBU today wrote to all MPs in the UK to point out that these continued, savage cuts to vital firefighter jobs are putting the public at risk.
Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, said:
“After a tragedy like Grenfell Tower, the public need to feel safe. It is very clear just how badly we need adequate numbers of professional, trained firefighters to tackle these sorts of, thankfully, rare disasters. Continued cuts to frontline firefighters and emergency fire control operators – these jobs have been cut by 25% for the same period – are a serious threat to public safety. These new figures are very concerning indeed. Our fire and rescue service is being cut to the bone – it needs investment, not more cuts.”
Almost 8,000 of the total jobs lost since 2010 are to whole-time (full-time) firefighter posts, with nearly 3,000 ‘retained’ (on-call) firefighter jobs gone. Over 1,000 firefighter jobs have been lost in Scotland, 300 in Wales and around 100 in Northern Ireland. This is the seventh year that firefighter jobs have been slashed across the UK.