The emergency services has taken the brunt of government cuts. In the last 7 years the government has cut over 10,000 firefighters, dozens of fire stations and 100’s of fire engines put to the scrap. This has led to ever increasing response times and 2015-2016 saw a 15% rise in deaths as a result of fire, compared with the year before.
The fire service is finding it increasingly difficult to respond to emergency calls in a timely and effective manner. These cuts started on the back of a global financial crisis that firefighters had no responsibility in creating. As someone who has worked with firefighters and the emergency services for the better part of a decade, I can say with authority that the public are not as safe as once were. The UK is the sixth richest country in the world, how can we stand back and watch as the emergency services are going backwards, damaging the safety of citizens?
Fully competent London firefighters earn 14% less than the average London salary. Putting their lives at risk each and every day, they run into burning buildings for the benefit of their communities. Only to be slapped with ever increasing pension contributions. Since 2011 firefighter have seen their employee pension contributions increase by over 50% and seen their retirement age increase by 10 years in the last few years. Previously the limit was 50, now its 60. How would you feel about grandpa Johnny rescuing you form a fire?
The governments own stats dont quite add up.. Their own Williams’ review states that up to 92% of firefighters will not be able to maintain their fitness until 60 and if you cant quite make it you are offered a “actuarially-reduced pension” which is up to 47% less that they would get at 60.