Tuesday, July 31, 2012

UK fire brigades union attacks government inaction on flood response

Marketwire: The Fire Brigades Union has attacked today's government decision to risk public safety in England and Wales by refusing to require fire and rescue services to respond to flood emergencies, despite the wettest June on record.

Last month firefighters carried out scores of rescues and protected vital national infrastructure during major flooding. Although the fire service routinely responds to serious floods, it is not mandated to do so by law. This means that funding for firefighters and the specialist equipment needed is not guaranteed and has to be found within existing budgets.

Exercise Watermark, the flood rescue exercise in 2011 showed that the fire and rescue service does not have enough firefighters, boats and equipment needed to respond to flooding over prolonged periods (1). However the Westminster government has concluded that placing a statutory duty on the fire and rescue service to respond to flooding "is not the best way forward at this time" (2).

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary said: "The Fire Brigades Union fears that the public will be put at risk because fire authorities will not have the resources to respond to flooding, particularly in the context of massive cuts to the fire and rescue service....Government reports show that flood risk has increased and is increasing. Flood defences can help, but there will always be extreme weather which requires emergency intervention. I call on the government to make sure the public enjoys the protection of a properly equipped fire and rescue service."...

London fire brigades truck, shot by Jackus2008, public domain

1 comment:

Discount Fire Supllies said...

It really important we really support the UK fire brigades, they work so hard during the recent floods. They are always the last line of defense in an emergency.