Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

November 28, 2007 08:19 ET

FIRE BRIGADES UNION EXPRESS CONCERN OVER AUTHORITY'S MISLEADING PLAN REGARDING HEIGHT VEHICLES

KENT, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 28, 2007) - Kent fire crews have expressed concern over fire service plans to provide height vehicle cover to anywhere in Kent in a 30 minute benchmark standard. They say the content of the plan is misleading to members of the public, who are expected to respond by the 18th January 2008.

The plan states that: "Height vehicles are used primarily for fire-fighting and special services, and are very rarely for rescues. No such rescues were made from fires in the three year period analysed in the review."

This is untrue say Kent fire crews. A number of rescues have been made over the last few years most notably an incident at Meridian Court at Maidstone where two rescues were carried out.

While supporting the introduction of a minimum attendance time for Height Vehicles the FBU believe that this is not achievable with only 5 under the current System of crewing where height vehicles share a crew with other front line appliances. When these other appliances are in use the Height Vehicles are unavailable. This has led to incidents where Height Vehicles have taken over an hour to get to incidents.

One of the primary uses of a HV is to fight a fire externally (as recognised within the plan) which would remove the need to commit our firefighters to a dangerous situation; in order to achieve this HVs have to be readily available. Kent FBU strongly urges members of the public and all stakeholders to take part in the consultation, and oppose this dangerous proposal.

John Saynor Union Vice Chair for Kent said: "The changes made back in 2004 are not working, and the proposed changes will only make things worse."

Harry Sawyer FBU Secretary for Kent said: "We agree that a HV should be available to any part of Kent for any purpose - weather that is for rescues or any other reason - within a maximum of 30 minutes. But under these misleading plans the proposal would be unachievable unless the HVs are crewed 24/7. KFRS has understated the usage and importance of these frontline vehicles."

Notes for Editors: Kent IRMP available at www.kent.fire-uk.org

Contact Information

  • John Saynor
    07917 368259
    or
    Harry Sawyer
    07779 659191
    or
    Ian Young
    07900 498105
    or
    Mark Simmons
    07968 861021