Socialist Worker

Firefighters in Nottinghamshire vote for action

Issue No. 1970

Nottinghamshire fire crews have voted four to one in favour of taking industrial action short of a strike over moves to force them to provide an ambulance service. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) says the fire authority is trying to impose new ambulance duties without negotiation.

Fire crews are likely to refuse to attend ambulance calls as part of the industrial action. The union has major concerns that desperately needed fire service resources will be diverted to attend medical emergencies for which they are not trained.

One of the first calls taken under the scheme saw only a fire appliance sent to attend a medical emergency.

Nottinghamshire FBU Brigade Secretary Ian Young said, “The fire authority has failed to negotiate as they are required to do and that is unacceptable. No one would think of sending an ambulance to put out a fire just because there is a fire extinguisher on board.

“Fire crews and the public would be at risk if there is a delay in attending incidents because we are being used as an ambulance service.”

Andy Dark, has been elected assistant general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union. He beat Geoff Ellis by 6,921 votes to 4,361 votes.

He says, “With the election of Matt Wrack and myself in recent months, the members’ verdict on the handling of the national pay dispute is abundantly clear. All officials must now accept that verdict and unite behind what members are demanding.”

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Sat 1 Oct 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1970
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