Union warns of loss of firefighters

Lincolnshire lost 28 firefighters in the last 12 months and has 136 less than in 2010, the profession’s union has said.

The Fire Brigade Union is calling on the government to provide more funding for fire services.

The organisation says that overall there’s 11,500 fewer UK firefighters than in 2010, despite a one per cent increase in their numbers this year from last year.

In Lincolnshire the FBU says the number of firefighters has been cut by 18 per cent since 2010.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “This shameless government is doing nothing to ease the pressure on overstretched and underpaid firefighters, all while making dubious claims of spending elsewhere. Fire and rescue services are in crisis after years of brutal cuts – and this year’s measly increase in posts is wholly insufficient to plug the gaps.

“We cannot allow firefighters’ life-saving work to go unrecognised.

“The chancellor must fund firefighter recruitment and end the years of real-term pay cuts for firefighters.

“Our communities need more firefighters – and the government needs to reflect the work they do in their paycheques.”

The FBU says fires are increasing, with a 10% spike in England.

It adds that in total 41,771 of the 45,653 people rescued by UK firefighters last year were from non-fire incidents, such as flooding, road traffic collisions, height rescues, lift rescues, and hazardous chemical spillages.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, continued: “The Whaley Bridge dam collapse saw fire and rescue services stretched to the limit. Firefighters were pulled from every brigade in the region, and from as far as Chichester and London.

“If this government is serious about tackling the climate emergency, it needs to invest in our frontline defences – and it is firefighters who are tackling wildfires and rescuing people stranded in flooding.

“Whaley Bridge will not be the last extreme weather event to stretch fire and rescue resources.”

Leave a Reply