Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

April 13, 2011 07:11 ET

Suffolk's Frontline Professionals Say: "Fire Cuts Are the Most Damaging and Dangerous Ever Seen in Suffolk"

SUFFOLK, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - April 13, 2011) - Please follow the link to Suffolk Fire Brigades Union's Formal Response to Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service's Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP).

The 8,000 word document, prepared by FBU members has been circulated to all of Suffolk's County Councillors and Members of Parliament.

The IRMP details the most damaging and dangerous cuts to fire and rescue cover we have ever seen. The FBU are certain that money is coming before the safety of firefighters and the public.

Here are some headline figures and where more detail can be found in the document;

  • Full-time firefighters on stations in Suffolk are being cut by 15%. See Page 2.
  • Suffolk is the second cheapest fire service in the country (per head of population, see appendix 1) and the cheapest in its peer group of similar fire services (Page 3)
  • Suffolk is ranked 51st out of 58 nationally for how long it takes to get to a dwelling fire.
  • 80% of our budget cuts hit frontline services. See page 4.
  • Page 11 details the quietest On-call stations in Suffolk, who are most at risk from closure in the future due to policy changes.
  • Page 15 highlights the postcode lottery of a fire service being provided for those in On-Call station areas.
  • Page 16 tells the reader that last year On-Call stations were unavailable for over 12,000 hours, more so than any year before.
  • Proactive community safety work (like the fitting of smoke alarms) has lead to some of these proposals (Haverhill & Felixstowe) being brought forward.

There is a response to each of the items in the IRMP.

Andy Message, Acting brigade secretary ""We have consulted our members who are the uniformed professionals in various levels of the service and we have submitted a full response to the fire cuts proposals on their behalf. And when our members are worried, the public should worry too. Our members do not only have professional fears - when we are off duty we are residents like everyone else. We have partners, children, parents and our concerns are also for the safety of our families, friends and our communities. Our message to Suffolk County Council, from the professionals on the frontline is simple: Stop and think again before someone pays the ultimate price. It's as simple as money coming before public safety".

Andy Vingoe FBU brigade chair: "Prior to the 2010 election, David Cameron told the BBC's Andrew Marr that if ministers came to him proposing frontline reductions they would be "sent straight back to their department to go away and think again".

Suffolk has a Conservative majority fire authority; they have agreed to propose these dangerous cuts to the Conservative County Council Cabinet due to meet in June. The FBU now urge both the fire authority and the County Council to heed David Cameron's words and "think again".

Contact Information

  • Fire Brigades Union, Suffolk
    Andy Vingoe
    Brigade Chair
    07967 041039

    Fire Brigades Union, Suffolk
    Andy Message
    Acting Brigade Secretary
    07967 040909