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Firefighters win court case on paramedic duties

Issue No. 2024

Firefighters have won an important legal victory over attempts by their employers to force them to take on certain emergency paramedic roles as part of their normal duties.

Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire fire authorities had insisted that firefighters take on such work, known as “co-responding”.

Firefighters in Nottinghamshire have been docked 10 percent of their wages for refusing to take part in the scheme.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) argues that the co?responding plans being pushed through by employers undermine public safety by “papering over cracks” in the ambulance service.

In a high court judgement on Monday of this week, Mr Justice Butterfield ruled in favour of the FBU.

If firefighters were forced to take on such duties, they would “not be acting as firefighters at all”, he said. “It is essentially the job of a paramedic or ambulance crew.”

Firefighters say that in areas where co-responding has been introduced, cuts to the regular ambulance service have rapidly followed. The issue is being used by employers to attack and undermine paramedics.

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Sat 28 Oct 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2024
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