Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

March 21, 2011 07:42 ET

Fire Crews Across East Anglia to Demonstrate Against 10% Cut in Frontline Firefighters

SUFFOLK, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - March 21, 2011) - On Saturday 26th March firefighters from across East Anglia will be descending upon London to attend the mass march and rally organised by the TUC to demonstrate their growing anger at the government's slash, burn and privatisation strategy which - despite their pre-election promises - is resulting in disastrous cuts to vital frontline services.

Plans already declared by fire and rescue services across East Anglia show cuts of at least 250 full time firefighters – that's more than a 10% cut at the heart of the frontline 999 service.

At the same time, the contracts of retained firefighters (on-call in the community) are being squeezed; 999 response standards reduced and corners being cut to try and mask the real affects on frontline emergency services.

FBU regional secretary Adrian Clarke said: "Firefighters are drawn to the service with an overwhelming desire to help others and will during their careers face dangers and see indescribable horrors. We have always felt valued for the service we provide, however there is growing anger as firefighters see the real effects of government funding cuts putting their safety and the safety of the public at risk. And to rub salt into the wounds, we see bankers enjoying their massive bonuses whilst those risking their lives on the frontline of our life-saving service are suffering a painful pay-freeze, hikes in our pension contributions and attacks on the pensions we will receive.

"Firefighters and their families are also suffering like all other ordinary working people in both the private and public sector, who rely on the public services for our health, education and social care needs. We are joining all those ordinary working people who are quite rightly saying enough is enough – there is an alternative.

"As a direct consequence of the cuts, the fire and rescue service is under the most serious attack in living memory. The cuts arising from the Comprehensive Spending Review threaten to do dangerous and lasting damage to the frontline fire and rescue service across the region. There will be fewer fire engines to respond to emergency incidents and less fire officers available to provide incident command, compromising firefighter safety. There are already fewer firefighters at fire stations and on fire engines, inevitably increasing the occasions firefighters will face the moral dilemma to put themselves at risk in a life-saving emergency when they should normally wait for enough firefighters and equipment to arrive. Reductions in crew numbers have already led to specialist rescue and high-reach vehicles sitting idly on fire stations when 999 emergency calls come in because there are no firefighters left to crew them. 

"Despite abolishing the diabolical and expensive Regional Fire Control Project plans have already been announced to close the emergency fire control room in Suffolk with the loss of 23 professional fire control jobs and losing the local link between the fire officer en-route and the emergency caller on the line. Years of local knowledge will be lost.

"These frontline cuts mean a more dangerous job for firefighters and a worse emergency service for the public."

Contact Information

  • Adrian Clark
    Regional Secretary
    07917 - 017713
    Lee Moon
    07709 - 310697
    Kevin Napier
    07824 - 438858
    Mick Rogers
    07967 - 023709
    Tony Smith
    07967 - 040905
    Jamie Wyatt
    07825 - 327331
    Andy Message
    07967 - 040909