Fire services under strain as heatwave continues

Reacting to the increase in fires as a result of the hot weather as well as the ongoing moorland fires, Fire Brigades Union (FBU) general secretary Matt Wrack said: 
"The dry hot weather has created tinderbox conditions across the nation. Fire and rescue services are tackling the onslaught of fires with the professionalism we would expect but there is great concern at the lack of resources at their disposal. In some cases firefighters are working for more than 17 hours without a break because of a lack of relief crews. In other cases, firefighters who have yet to complete basic training are being sent to tackle blazes.  Fire services are having to rely on public donations for simple supplies like sun cream and a lack of water pressure in some areas is complicating firefighting efforts. This is a very challenging time for fire and rescue services across the UK. It is a situation compounded by years of budget cuts that have ravaged fire services of the resources they need to do their job. Central government is utterly complacent about the state of our fire and rescue service. No doubt they will yet again dodge any responsibility and claim this is purely a local matter - it is not.” 
The FBU this week revealed how almost 12,000 firefighter jobs have been cut across the UK in 2010 - equivalent to 20% of the workforce. A regional breakdown of the figures are available here:
Photo credit: ©Jess Hurd/Report Digital 

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