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Firefighters' paramedic dispute heats up

Issue No. 1974

A dispute over firefighters in Nottinghamshire being used as cut-price paramedics is escalating as the fire authority moves to make 10 percent deductions from wages of crews who refuse the new duties.

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members in Nottinghamshire voted four to one last month to refuse to allow the imposition of ambulance duties on to their colleagues at Retford station.

The disputed ambulance duties, which are known as “co-responding”, would require fire crews to be specifically dispatched to medical emergencies.

The FBU believes this would provide a third class service to the public who require trained paramedics on these critical occasions.

“As firefighters we have enormous respect for the skills and training of paramedics,” said Ian Young from Nottinghamshire FBU.

“People making calls to the ambulance service expect to see an ambulance with properly trained para­medics.

“This scheme means the first people they see are likely to be firefighters — with just basic first aid training.”

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Sat 29 Oct 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1974
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