Fire Brigades Union

  1. Plans for specialist fire crews will 'reach fires faster'

    The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has welcomed a decision to trial additional crews in Tyne and Wear fire but insisted that they should be made permanent to ensure public safety.

    The pilot programme will see an additional fire engine and crew introduced at West Denton Community Fire Station and a dedicated crew appointed to staff the aerial ladder platform (ALP) at Marley Park Community Fire Station.

    Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has seen a £2.9m cuts to its funding from Westminster over the course of the last five-year Local Government Finance Settlement, leaving it with 325 fewer firefighters than in 2010.

    Wayne Anderson, Tyne and Wear firefighter and FBU brigade secretary, said:“Firefighters and residents campaigned hard to prevent another wave of brutal cuts in Tyne and Wear last year and we welcome this much-needed step in the right direction.

    “When a fire breaks out, we need to get the right resources there as quickly as possible – and a dedicated crew for an aerial ladder platform will mean that anyone trapped inside a high rise building won’t have to wait for another crew.

    “Our county will be safer with more crews and fire engines available more often, so it’s crucial that these changes remain in place."

    Assistant Chief Fire Officer Peter Heath said: “The budget cuts we’ve faced over the last 10 years or so have meant we have had to make some difficult decisions, but we have continued to provide our services without compromising public safety."

    Aerial platform ladder
  2. Fire service union suspends Surrey action

    A Fire Engine

    The Fire Brigades Union has temporarily suspended its industrial action in Surrey during the coronavirus outbreak.

    The union launched six months of action in December, including an overtime ban and a refusal to “work up” to more senior roles.

    The union said it had now reached a "landmark agreement" with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and fire service employers on how to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

    If agreed locally, it said firefighters would be able to drive ambulances, deliver food and medicines to vulnerable people, and retrieve the deceased.

    Jay Devey, FBU brigade secretary, said: "For now it is essential that we all pull together and do our bit to beat this crisis."

    But Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, added: "When we eventually see through this crisis, we hope they will remember the value of properly resourced services and bring an end to a decade of dangerous cuts.”