FBU Warns Dorset Fire Fighters Could Struggle In Heat Wave
8:10am 23rd July 2013
A union representing fire-fighters in the South West has raised concerns after a surge in emergency callouts due to the heat wave.
The Fire Brigades Union says Dorset Fire and Rescue could struggle to deal with rapid grass fires and potential flash flooding, after government cutbacks.
Dorset crews spent hours battling 3 major heath fires last week.
Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, said:
"Unprecedented cut backs have left fire services with smaller teams and fewer fire engines and stations, and public safety across the country will be threatened if hot temperatures and heavy rain create numerous large scale incidents - including flash floods and grassfires - in a short space of time.
"Local politicians and central government need to stop slashing our emergency fire and rescue service."
But Dorset Fire Chief Darren Gunter dismisses the Union claims and told Wessex-FM they're coping well:
"For the last couple of years we've had 40 frontline fire engines, and we've still got 40 now. Of those 40 33 are crewed by retimed staff who do a great job and I'm sure they'll manage in the future"
"We've had some really testing incidents during the heat wave and that's in addition to business as usual, all the other kind of incidents and emergencies we attend. But we're here and we provide a service 24/7, I think the service has dealt with things fantastically well."