Fire move 'less safe'

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:53 10 June 2010

THE majority of East Devon's firefighters believe that Government proposals to create eight big new fire control rooms for the whole country will mean fire-fighters are less safe. Plans to close all 46 emergency fire control rooms in England and replace t

THE majority of East Devon's firefighters believe that Government proposals to create eight big new fire control rooms for the whole country will mean fire-fighters are less safe.Plans to close all 46 emergency fire control rooms in England and replace them with eight regional centres outside London got comprehensive thumbs down from firefightersMost have no confidence in the government's ability to create a national network of regional fire controls which work well, according to a YouGov poll of Fire Brigade Union members commissioned by the union.They also think insufficient or inadequate training is compromising firefighters' safety - while a majority want an end to cuts in frontline personnel. Asked what were the four best ways of spending money on improving the fire and rescue service, nine out of 10 (90 per cent) said more training, nearly three- quarters (73 per cent) said more frontline personnel, and nearly six out of 10 (58 per cent) said modern and safe personal radios. Just one in 100 (one per cent) wanted regional control centres."This is the authentic voice of the men and women who save lives every day, and it is telling the government, not just to change course, but to change its whole approach," said the FBU regional secretary for the south west John Drake. "They want resources to go into frontline personnel, training and equipment to do the job, which are being cut; not in to extravagant and untried mammoth computer systems that do not work properly.

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