Firefighter Strikes – September 2013

5 September 2013

Firefighters across the UK have voted significantly in favour of a major imminent walkout over a pensions dispute with the FBU (Fire Brigades Union).

The strike was proposed as the FBU said that new pension plans would make it likely that some firefighters could have to retire early (before the age of 60) without their full pension if they can’t live up to fitness demands of the job.

They say that staff working up to the age of 60 could be a danger to the general public if their fitness levels aren’t sufficient enough to carry out their rescue duties.

A massive 78% of firefighters voted in favour of industrial action against these plans, which has brought up fears that reserve staff who would be brought in whilst the strike taking place, are not up to the job. One anonymous firefighter has even claimed that reserve staff would not be able to handle “even a small incident”, which is a worrying sentiment for the government.

Although applicants for the reserve firefighter roles will undergo a week of training, fitness tests and assessments, experienced professionals are still concerned that this is not sufficient training, and therefore anyone in severe danger from fire would struggle.

Some firefighters who are not in the Fire Brigades Union are still expected to work through proposed strikes, and 999 calls would be prioritised according to which are the most severe and potentially life threatening. Even then, reserve staff’s role would be ‘defensive firefighting, and would always be working alongside a professional.

Under the Fire Safety Order 2005, it is a requirement that any commercial building/non domestic premises have a comprehensive fire risk assessment in place. Given the current situation with the fire strikes it is essential that your fire risk assessment is reviewed and kept up to date to ensure that both life and property are adequately protected

If you’re in need of a fire safety risk assessment, or are in any doubt at all about potential fire hazards, Total Fire Services can send out one of our experienced fire safety consultants to help. If you wish to discuss any aspect of fire safety then please Contact us today.


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