Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

October 08, 2009 12:34 ET

South Yorkshire Firefighters to Oppose Night Time Cuts

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Oct. 8, 2009) - South Yorkshire fire bosses DO plan to cut the number of firefighters and fire engines at night time. Despite their denials, the details are contained in their own plans approved by councillors and available on their own website.

Councillor Jim Andrews, the chair of the fire authority, challenged local fire crews this week to prove the authority wants night time cuts. The proposed changes to shifts - increasing the day shift from 9 hours to 12 hours - is the key to making cuts at night.

The fire authority meets this Saturday to consider the union's compromise proposal for 10 hour day shifts. The union's proposal which will make more non cashable efficiency savings and provide even more time for training and community safety than those put forward in the fire authority's 12 hour shift proposal.

The union's plans won't make it easier to make cuts at night time. This is, the union believes, the real sticking point for the fire authority.

The union is clear the fire authority has explicit plans to cut firefighters and fire engines at night. And it can prove it.

The South Yorkshire Corporate Plan 2007-2011 Integrated Risk Management Plan (at page 28) states:

"We will vary the level of service provision in accordance with the level of risk We propose to match the daily availability of rescue pumps to the daily variation in fire risk levels. Most emergencies happen during the day time and as such this is when we are busiest; we therefore plan to ensure more pumps are available during the busier times. Correspondingly we will reduce the numbers of pumps available during the less busy periods."

Ian Murray, FBU regional secretary said: "The plans to cut the number of firefighters and fire engines at night are very clear in their corporate plan. These plans were approved by Jim Andrews and the other councillors who are paid to know what decisions they are taking.

"But it is of great concern that, once again, the councillors appear to be in denial regarding the decisions they have taken. First we had the notice of 744 redundancies which they denied, now we have their plans to cut emergency cover at night, that they are also now denying.

"Professional firefighters know there are fewer building fires at night, although these are not the only 999 emergencies we attend. We also know that night time fires pose more risk to the community, by reducing night time fire cover, emergency response times could be longer as pumps may have further to travel.

"We've put forward alternative proposals which will make more savings and provide more time for training and community safety activities. The authority will take a view on those and we can only hope they understand the meaning and the importance of the decision they will be taking."

Contact Information

  • Media contacts:
    Ian Murray
    Regional Secretary
    07967 103345
    Jeremy Pagan
    EC Member
    07977 931086