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999 EMERGENCY: SAVE OUR FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE, URGES FIRE BRIGADES UNION FILM

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has today launched a hard hitting film about life threatening cuts to the fire and rescue service (FRS), claiming that the public are no longer safe.

‘Firefighters provide a 24 hour, seven days a week all hazard emergency service. Sustained government cuts threaten their ability to provide lifesaving emergency response’ begins the film, before going on to catalogue some of the deaths that have resulted when firefighters were unable to arrive within target times.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, said: “We made this film because things have reached crisis point and the public are in danger as a direct result of sustained attacks on fire and rescue service funding. People don’t think about the fire and rescue service until they need it – it’s the kind of thing, like an insurance policy, that people don’t want to pay for. Then if the unthinkable happens and they suffer a fire or other trauma that relies on firefighters attending the scene, they are as glad as hell that they paid up.

“These delays in the arrival of fire crews have to be on a par with hospital patients regularly waiting in A&E departments for more than the four hour target. It is just as serious and life threatening.

“We are asking everyone who views our new film to share it on social media, and to sign our petition to Save Our Fire and Rescue Service so that it can save you.”

Government funding to the fire service was cut by 30% in the last parliament. This government want to cut their funding to it by another 20%, even though 7,000 firefighter jobs have gone since 2010, 40 fire stations have closed and more than 130 fire engines have been taken out of service. Fire engine response times are at their slowest in 20 years, at the government’s own admission. As the film makes clear, in a fire, every second counts.

For more information, go to www.fbu.org.uk

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