Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

March 12, 2009 09:38 ET

Fire Service and Anti-Terror Preparation: FBU Calls for Government Action on Public Accounts Committee Report

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - March 12, 2009) - The Fire Brigades Union is calling for urgent Government action on the Public Accounts Committee report into the fire service response to terrorist and other large scale incidents. This is a very important report and represents a real opportunity if the Government respond in the right way.

FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack said: "The Government has provided the money to buy new equipment, but it has been cutting back on the number of firefighters. They and the Audit Commission want these cuts in personnel to rapidly increase.

"Cutting firefighters does not make sense and reduces our capacity to plan, prepare and train to deal with major incidents, including terrorist incidents. Instead, fire service time and resources are being diverted to creating regional control centres which no one wants and which will make matters worse.

"This disastrous IT project is costing Pounds Sterling 1.4 billion, is years late, and is wasting a fortune of public money. This report identifies the key areas where our efforts need to be focussed.

"We have been calling for improved regional and national planning for at least three years. Give us enough training, equipment and people and we'll deal with whatever version of Armageddon terrorists throw at us.

"Firefighters just hope that at some stage Government will start listening to what everyone tells them they need to do. It is critical for public and firefighter safety that these recommendations are followed."

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