Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

August 09, 2011 10:17 ET

Attacks on Fire Crews Must Stop Before People Die

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Aug. 9, 2011) - The Fire Brigades Union is warning that attacks on fire crews will result in deaths if they continue. Any delay in carrying out rescues hugely increases the risk to anyone trapped in a fire.

FBU Assistant General Secretary Andy Dark said: "Fire crews have been subjected to attacks and threatened as they try to protect the communities they live and work in. It is predominantly poorer working class communities that are bearing the brunt of arson attacks.

"Fire crews are doing their best in the face of great risk to themselves. They've been attacked on the way to incidents, at the scene and there have been attempts to steal life saving equipment.

"Those who are torching homes, shops and workplaces need to understand they are seriously risking lives. There is a very real risk that this will result in a significant loss of life if it goes on.

"Fire crews are frustrated and angry that they cannot get to burning buildings, especially where people may be trapped. Fire crews have to be able to get through without fear of attack or serious injury or people will die.

"We've seen businesses lost, many of them small retailers in what is left of our High Streets. Livelihoods are being lost and it's jobs going up in smoke, not just buildings.

"We're making a direct appeal to those involved to let the fire crews through and let them get on with the job. Fire won't wait, and any delay risks lives being lost or the total loss of homes, shops and workplaces.

"All we have is kit to protect from the danger of fires, not from bricks, bottles or metal bars. We do not arrest people and we only use water on fires, we do not use it on those involved in these disturbances.

"In recent days the fire service has been overwhelmed in London. There is a clear risk this will also be the case in other cities if these disturbances spread further."

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