Stop cuts to our fire service!

We must oppose these cuts which could put lives at risk and demand the necessary funding – a relative pittance – is put in place urgently. We know money can be found when it suits the political establishment, for junkets and handout to big business. It is a question of political priorities. A campaign of community protests and trade union action can win.

The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service has announced a raft of cuts aimed at dealing with a £3.26 million funding shortfall. Belfast has lost one fire engine, but the worst hit towns are Carrickfergus, Portadown, Omagh, Enniskillen, Newtowards and Armagh.
Until now, these fire stations have been staffed by a full crew from 8am to 6pm on weekdays, meaning calls could be responded to immediately. The cuts have seen staffing levels reduced so that, even during these hours, additional firefighters have to be called in before a crew can respond to emergencies. This will lead to delays which could have tragic consequences. In addition, specialist teams and fire safety officers being drawn into standard cover to plug the gaps.

‘Temporary’ cuts become permanent

Fire service management have introduced these cuts – which are strongly opposed by the Fire Brigades Union – rapidly and with no consultation. They say the measures are temporary, but our experience across the public sector is that ‘temporary’ cuts usually become permanent. The funding shortfall has arisen because the budget allocated to the fire service from the Department of Health has not increased to meet rising demand.

Build a campaign to save our fire service

We must oppose these cuts which could put lives at risk and demand the necessary funding – a relative pittance – is put in place urgently. We know money can be found when it suits the political establishment, for junkets and handout to big business. It is a question of political priorities. A campaign of community protests and trade union action can win.

Total
0
Shares
Previous Article

Civil servants continue battle against poverty pay

Next Article

Fracking and mining threaten our environment for profit

Related Posts
Read More

The Ulster Rugby rape trial: No to victim-blaming & rape culture

During the trial in which Ulster and Ireland rugby players are accused of raping a young woman at a party, there has been fury at many of the comments made by the defence in court. When the young woman told the court she had consented to a kiss from Paddy Jackson but had not given consent to anything else, the defence barrister accused her of “teasing” Jackson, and asked her, "if you didn't like him, why were you kissing him in his bedroom?"
Read More

Harland & Wolff: The hidden history of workers’ struggle

The history of Northern Ireland is often present as simply being of two traditions - nationalism and unionism - in conflict with each other. Almost everything is painted as belonging to one or the other, including the shipyard. It is also true that most things do have a history tainted by sectarianism. But there is also another history, one which we see in the shipyards, across Belfast and across Northern Ireland - that is the labour tradition, where working-class people have stood together to fight in their common interests.