The Fire Brigades Union is warning that cuts to the fire and rescue service will put lives at risk, after a spate of high-profile house fires. The union advises the public to “get out and stay out” in the event of a fire and to call professional fire-fighters to tackle any blaze.
However the union is warning that cuts will worsen the service. Government figures show that average response times to house fires have slowed over the last decade from 5.5 minutes to 7.3 minutes.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary said: “Every second counts when there’s a fire. Our job as fire-fighters is to rescue people and we aim to get to every incident as quickly as we can.
“But the public should know that cutting fire-fighter jobs, fewer fire engines and other cuts will delay our intervention. The planned cuts to the service will cost lives if they go ahead. They must be stopped. The FBU wants fire services and councils across the UK to follow the example of the Scottish government and investigate how to improve response times to house fires”.
Here in Surrey, the council is preparing to cut the fire service by 25%. Many stations will loose their night time cover. Others will see a reduction in fire engines and redundancies are planned across the board.
For example Conservative Council is shutting Staines fire station from 7pm to 7am every night, leaving Staines without night fire cover.
Residents and anti-cuts activists will be converging on Staines fire station at Falcon Drive, Stanwell, to protest against the cuts.
The protest is supported by Save Our Services in Surrey, Guildford Against Fees And Cuts, Staines Labour Party, local unions and of course The Voice of Anti-Capitalism in Guildford- as well as many others.
Your support will be very much appreciated. Yet again, Tory cuts are taking priority over people and in this case human rights. But together we can reverse the cuts.
So please try and make it to Staines if you can. Saturday, February 26 · 11:00am – 2:00pm
Assemble on the green in Falcon Drive for 11:00am
Protest down Flacon drive and turn right into Claire Road.
Protest down to Town Lane and take a left towards Staines fire station to hear talks from the unions and the labour party.
-Save Our Services In Surrey
-The Labour Party
Please join the Facebook events page for more details and to show your support. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=103785973033803
Please don’t forget about the TUC National demonstration against the cuts in London, March 26th. There is subsidised coach travel leaving Staines, Guildford, Woking and Redhill. Just £2.00 Rtn. All are welcome. See Facebook event for details: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=103785973033803#!/event.php?eid=178381258861986