Bristol MPs condemn frontline fire service cuts

Three Bristol MPs have written an open letter to the minister responsible for the fire service raising serious concerns about cuts to fire and rescue budgets.

Kerry McCarthy, MP for Bristol East, Thangam Debbonaire, MP for Bristol West and Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South all signed the letter condemning the thousands of frontline firefighter jobs lost since 2010.

Across the Avon Fire and Rescue Service area 150 have been cut.

The letter to Brandon Lewis follows the largest increase in deaths from fire-related incidents in twenty years.

10,000 – frontline firefighter jobs have been lost since 2010

150 – of this are at Avon Fire & Rescue Service

49 – more frontline jobs are Avon Fire & Rescue Service are set to be cut.

The government has slashed funding for our most important emergency services over the last few years. By pushing through further cuts, the government are failing to recognise the life-saving work which our firefighters do day-in day-out. The government must stop these cuts at once, and give our firefighters the resources they need to keep us safeKERRY MCCARTHY, LABOUR MP FOR BRISTOL EAST
The Fire Brigades Union say the cuts have gone too far Credit: ITV News

The Fire Brigades Union say the cuts have gone too far Credit: ITV News

 

Kerry McCarthy, Thangam Debbonaire and Karin Smyth are reflecting the views of frontline firefighters that budget cuts have gone too far, a position that is supported by the majority of the Avon public. In the last few weeks we have collected over 2,000 petition signatures against further cuts being planned for Avon Fire & Rescue Service. “It is time for the government to recognise the importance of our fire and rescue services, which save the lives of around 40,000 people each year. In addition to fires, firefighters regularly respond to traffic collisions, industrial accidents, medical emergencies, chemical spillages, terrorist incidents and civil disturbances. This government must now listen, and stop putting budget cuts ahead of public safety.GARY SPINDLER, FIRE BRIGADES UNION (FBU) REP FOR AVON

Avon Fire and Rescue Service are also issuing tips on staying safe over the Christmas period:

  • Check your Christmas tree lights carry the British Safety Standard sign.
  • Always switch Christmas lights off and unplug them before you go to bed.
  • Never place candles near your Christmas tree or materials that can catch light easily.
  • Test the batteries in your smoke alarm every week. Never remove them.
  • Most fires start in the kitchen. Avoid leaving a cooker unattended.
  • Make sure your family and visitors know how to escape in an emergency.
  • Make sure cigarettes are put out properly
  • Decorations can burn easily – so don’t attach them to lights or heaters.
  • Keep candles, lighters and matches out of children’s reach.
  • Ensure candles are kept away from cards, decorations and furniture which could catch fire.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended.
  • Take care around open fireplaces as clothes may catch fire.
  • Never overload electrical sockets.
  • Take time to check on elderly relatives and neighbours this Christmas as they are at greater risk from fire.