Firefighters role under attack

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Firefighters march with survivors of the Grenfell inferno

A PROPOSAL by fire chiefs to expand a firefighter’s role at will and without boundaries has been overwhelming rejected by firefighters by 97%.

The proposals would see firefighters’ roles expanded so that they would be doing the job of ambulance workers, something that the Fire Brigades Union is opposed to.

‘Firstly, it takes firefighters away from their job, fighting fires. Secondly, no extra pay is being offered for increased roles, and thirdly under the proposal each and every local station can add their own roles, smashing up national pay and conditions,’ the FBU said.

The proposal from employers includes ‘non-exhaustive’ lists of work activities. This would mean that FBU members would face an open-ended contract where the range of activities would be under the control of the local employer.

The proposed new contract states that: ‘Any uniformed employee can be required to take part in emergency medical response.’

The proposed contract adds: ‘Co-responding is the mobilisation of an ambulance and an appropriately trained and equipped fire and rescue service response to emergency medical incidents e.g. cardiac arrests.’

There has been a concerted effort by this government to blur the roles of the emergency services, and blur the line between the state and the public services.

In four areas of the country Police Commissioners have actually been put in charge of the fire service and there are even attempts to get firefighters to do the job of the police.

On Wednesday there was the shock announcement that firefighters have been trained up as special police constables dubbed ‘super cops’.

Seven members of the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service have just completed two months of legal and practical training and are ready to start work as police officers across the region.