Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

December 05, 2011 19:01 ET

Gloucestershire FBU Slams Proposals to Cut Vital Front Line Appliances and Fire Crews and Promise to 'Flush Out the Facts' in Letters to County Councillors

GLOUCESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Dec. 5, 2011) - Gloucestershire fire crews have written to every county councilor demanding the fire authority comes clean over its plans to axe 24 firefighter posts, nearly one in eight full-time frontline posts. The move is part of a fire service plan out for public consultation which contains no mention of the number of frontline posts being cut.

The plan means downgrading the crewing of vital aerial appliances from the current immediate response to, at best, delayed arrival to 999 emergencies. This enables the authority to axe 24 frontline posts.

There are only two aerial appliances in Gloucestershire and the Union describes them as "vital life saving specialist appliances". They are used to make high reach rescues and are vital in fighting highly developed fires from above. The Union describes any delay in their response as "compromising both public safety and the service's ability to deal properly with fires and other emergencies."

The plans also include moves to half the number of special rescue vehicles from 2 to 1. These vehicles carry specialist equipment which is used for rescuing people at road traffic collisions and other similar emergencies needing highly specialist rescue gear.

Mike Tully, Brigade Secretary for Gloucestershire FBU said "These are real frontline cuts to the 999 emergency response service that will impact across the county. The County Council promised there would be no impact on front line services as a result of budget cuts and we will hold them to that.

"The Council cannot be allowed to hide behind promises just by refusing to make the cuts public. Frontline services will be hit if these proposals are adopted and frontline firefighter posts will be lost.

"We've written to every county councillor to flush out the facts of these cuts. When cuts are being proposed you have to be open in the public consultation about what is being proposed and politicians must face the music if promises are being broken.

John Drake FBU Regional Secretary said "This is a public consultation with smoke and mirrors to mask the level of cuts being proposed. Local fire crews will mount a robust campaign to hold both politicians and senior officers to account.

"The people of Gloucestershire know from direct experience how valuable their local fire crews are in all the emergencies we have to deal with. When the facts are known about these cuts their local fire crews will expect them to have a strong response."

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Fire Brigades Union
    Mike Tully
    Brigade Secretary Gloucestershire

    Fire Brigades Union
    John Drake
    FBU Regional Secretary