Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

September 13, 2010 06:03 ET

Eight Out of Ten Oppose Fire Service Cuts

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Sept. 13, 2010) - More than eight out of 10 (85%) of the public oppose government plans to cut funding in the Fire and Rescue Service.

That's the key finding from a YouGov survey commissioned by the Fire Brigades Union and released today (Monday September 13) by FBU general secretary Matt Wrack at the Trades Union Congress in Manchester.

"It is not true that, when we oppose the cuts, we are acting in the interests of firefighters alone" said Mr Wrack. "We are acting to protect a service that saves lives, and one that the public values highly."

More than nine out of ten people (95%) believe the number of frontline firefighters should either stay the same, or increase. "The government, in planning to cut frontline firefighters, is acting in direct opposition to the view of the overwhelming majority of the British people" said Mr Wrack.

And more than nine out of ten people (95%) believe that a rapid response to fires - getting to fires as fast as possible - should be a high priority for the Fire and Rescue Service. Mr Wrack commented: "This is important because those who wish to cut the service often suggest that such things as public education, fire prevention advice and fire risk assessments should have a higher priority than the emergency response to fires. Government policy makers have been attempting to undermine the importance of emergency response to fires for some time. This approach is the complete opposite of what the public want from their fire service.

"Most people agree with the FBU that getting to fires fast is a key priority, and every time you cut the number of firefighters or close a fire station or leave a fire engine without a sufficient crew, you make the response time slower. This approach will put the lives of the public and of firefighters at risk. It will also push up the economic losses from fire as fires will be bigger by the time firefighters arrive." said Mr Wrack.

Nine out of 10 people (90%) agree that the Fire and Rescue Service is good value for money.

NOTE FOR EDITORS

YouGov surveyed 1,020 adults between 16 –27 August 2010. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a YouGov Plc survey commissioned by The Fire Brigade Union. The survey was carried out online among a nationally representative sample of 1020 adults aged 18+ in the UK between 16-27 August 2010. Data is weighted to be nationally representative based on age, gender, social grade and region.

Contact Information

  • Francis Beckett
    07813 001372