More crews needed if UK faces major threat - The Evesham Observer

More crews needed if UK faces major threat

Evesham Editorial 11th Nov, 2020   0

FIRE and rescue services won’t be ready for major threats to the UK without more firefighters, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has warned, as new figures show brigades have faced the Covid-19 pandemic with 11,237 fewer firefighters than in 2010.

The combined threats of climate change related events such as flooding and wildfires, pandemics, terrorism, and the post-Grenfell building safety crisis will require the immediate funding for at least 5,000 firefighters in the next year, the FBU says, to ensure the fire and rescue service can tackle ‘the risks of today and tomorrow’.

The call comes as new figures reveal the UK has lost more than 11,000 firefighters and control room staff since 2010, a 19% drop in numbers.

The staffing shortage has caused many fire and rescue services to send out fire engines with just three firefighters on board, fewer than the minimum five required to safety perform a rescue or tackle a fire, say chiefs

In response the FBU has launched its #FundTheFrontline campaign, in which firefighters and members of the public will be asked to write to their MPs demanding urgent investment in the government’s one-year spending review.

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