Bulletin No: 063 Volume: 24 Wednesday 11 April 2018
To: All UFU MEMBERS
FIREFIGHTERS ATTACKED NOT ONLY AT HOME BUT ABROAD – ATTACK ON UK FIREFIGHTERS CONTINUES
I recently presented at a global conference in relation to firefighter occupational cancer where twenty-five global firefighting Unions were represented. We also took the opportunity to exchange views on what is happening in the various countries that a Union operates in of which I was saddened to hear of the attack on UK firefighters continues unabated. Most disappointingly it appears that there is a complete disconnect between firefighters and senior officers where the acquiescence to firefighting positions being cut is very common rather than one of advocating for firefighter and public safety.
As we all know the career firefighters in Victoria have faced unprecedent attack over the last five years from conservative politicians and senior management within the fire services who have supported this agenda. This attack has been an attack on your professionalism, commitment to the community you protect, your reputation and your terms and conditions of employment.
As we have faced our own battle in Victoria, we can sometime lose sight of the fact that firefighters across the globe also face significant attacks to their workplaces.
In England, since 2010, approximately 11,000 firefighters have been axed; dozens of fire stations have closed; fire engines have been scrapped; and emergency rescue equipment has been slashed. Fire service budgets have been reduced by 30 per cent across the UK, with a further 20 per cent of cuts expected by 2020.
These attacks lead to significant impacts on firefighter and community safety with average response to primary fires – the most serious that the fire service attends – increasing by 31 seconds since 2010/2011. Response times to dwelling fires which involve somebody who needs rescuing increased by 26 seconds since 2010/2011. Those are not the only increases: every type of incident that the fire service responds to now takes longer compared to 2010.
As we know from our own battles in Victoria, response times are vital to not only community safety but firefighter safety.
As such it is vital that in Victoria we continue to fight against these aggressive tactics and we should remember to support all our global colleagues and including our UK colleagues and ensure that these outcomes and continued attack are not allowed to continue to spread across Australia and Victoria.
Strength in Unity
READ OUT AT MUSTER AND PIN ON NOTICE BOARD
Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary