FBU oppose emergency service merger plans

The FBU has responded strongly to plans by the government to bring fire brigades under the control of police and crime commissioners in England and Wales.

Commenting on news reports over mergers Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Emergency services are completely unique in the way they work, the incidents they have to deal with and the management structure that is required to run an effective service.

“No matter what politicians say mergers are driven by cuts and it could have serious consequences for the ability of all emergency services to respond effectively to emergencies. The public want professionally trained firefighters when they call us.

“It is simply not true that Police and Crime Commissioners have played any noticeable role in improving the fire and rescue service. They would not have the knowledge, expertise or democratic legitimacy to play such a role.

“Given the atrociously low turnout in the elections for Police and Crime Commissioners they do not have a mandate to make such huge structural changes in the fire and rescue service.”

Voter turnout for the election of police and crime commissioners in 2012 was below 15%.

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