Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

October 19, 2008 19:02 ET

Firefighters in North West Reject Proposed New Regional Fire Control Centres

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 20, 2008) -

MEDIA RELEASE: EMBARGO: 00.01 HOURS MONDAY OCTOBER 20

Most firefighters in the north west have low confidence in the government's ability to create a national network of regional fire controls which work well. The Government wants to close all 46 emergency fire control rooms in England and replace them with just 8 regional centres outside London, but 95% of the firefighters in the north west think this will worsen the response of the fire and rescue service to incidents, and 92% think it will worsen safety for firefighters.

Asked what were the four best ways of spending money on improving the fire and rescue service, almost nine out of 10 (89%) said more training, three quarters (76%) said more frontline equipment, and six out of 10 (62%) said modern and safe personal radios. Just one in 33 (3%) suggested moving to regional control centres.

70% agree that "Insufficient or inadequate operational training is compromising the safety of firefighters at incidents." Nine out of 10 (90%) agree that the fire service must "stop cutting frontline personnel if it is to provide a coherent, effective and safe response to the incidents it is expected to attend." Nine out of 10 (90%) do not agree that the government "really values the Fire and Rescue Service and those who work in it."

"This is the authentic voice of the men and women who save lives every day, and it is telling the government, not just to change course, but to change its whole approach" said the FBU regional secretary for the north west, Kevin Brown. "They want resources to go into frontline personnel, training and equipment to do the job, which are being cut; not into extravagant and untried mammoth computer systems and the army of consultants required to explain why they do not work properly."

YouGov interviewed 1,969 FBU members online across the UK between 4 and 14 August 2008, including a subset of 205 in the north west. Data are unweighted.

Contact Information

  • Fire Brigades Union
    Kevin Brown
    07834 656 085