Firefighters sign deal to respond to terrorist attacks!

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FBU members marching against cuts

FIREFIGHTERS in London and Manchester have signed agreements that will see them committed to respond to Marauding Terrorist Attacks (MTA), following a ballot of FBU members.

MTAs are incidents when terrorists move through a location, aiming to find and kill or injure as many as possible.

If firefighters respond to MTA incidents they may be tasked with aiding with the evacuation of casualties as well as firefighting.

The agreements, which are virtually identical, will see the provision of appropriate training and equipment.

This equipment will include ballistic protection, including ballistic helmets and goggles.

Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, said: ‘Our members go to work to save lives and will want to do so wherever they can, no matter how dire or threatening the circumstances.

‘MTAs are a horrendous prospect, and any firefighter that can help as part of a properly-organised response, where risk is appropriately mitigated, would want to do so.

‘The agreements provide the framework and detail for strong arrangements that will protect the public and firefighters, consisting of proper training and equipment.

‘They will mean that these are the only two fire and rescue services in the UK which will have MTA-trained firefighters at every station in their area.

‘It is right that the negotiated terms recognise the increased risks and responsibilities of firefighters going into dangerous situations.

‘The committed and professional approach taken by the Fire Brigades Union, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and the London Fire Brigade have been the key to this agreement being reached.

‘The FBU and the employers’ side of the National Joint Council have been keen to reach a similar agreement on an all-UK basis but outside of Scotland there has been unspecified political obstacles to this objective.

‘Discussions continue to take place in Scotland, where we hope that progress can be made soon. In a similar vein we hope that these two agreements provide an impetus to achieving an all-UK agreement in the near future.’

The agreements were made following negotiations by the Fire Brigades Union and ballots of London and Manchester firefighters earlier in the year. They were signed by employer and union representatives at meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

Agreements have been sought by the union in relation to every fire and rescue service across the UK, but to date agreement has only been reached for London and Manchester.