IN MEMORY OF GRENFELL TOWER - SAVE OUR FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE
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At least 12 people have died and 69 have been injured after a huge fire engulfed Grenfell Tower tower block, West London in the early hours of the morning.
The government/council who repeatedly ignored warnings by The Grenfell Action Group regarding serious fire risks, intends to cut it’s funding to fire and rescue services. In the last parliament they cut it by 30% - in just a decade their funding to the fire service could be nearly halved. As a result of these cuts nearly 7000 firefighter jobs have gone, over 40 fire stations have closed and scores of fire appliances have been taken off the run. Furthermore, the pension age for fireman has increased from 55 to 60, forcing firefighters to work into older age. But if age or the physical strains of the job renders them unfit, they can be dismissed and not get their pension till the age of 68.
A resident group said on Wednesday morning that it repeatedly warned of a fire risk at Grenfell Tower and claimed a major fire was narrowly averted after a power surge in 2013. The Grenfell Action Group said its concerns were dismissed by Kensington and Chelsea council, which owns the block, and and the local tenant management organisation [KCTMO], which runs the borough’s homes.
Residents could be seen waving and screaming from their windows, as firefighters wearing breathing apparatus fought to rescue them. A London Fire Brigade firefighter of 17 years, who asked not to be named, working from a command unit on Ladbroke Grove, said it was “devastating”. He started his shift yesterday at 8pm, arrived on the scene at 4am and is due to start his next shift at 8pm. He said: "Everyone has been going above and beyond. Many of the men have been lining up to work today and assist." Several firefighters suffered minor injuries in the blaze.
The cuts have often been justified by citing that fires and fire deaths are both down. Although this is true it does not tell the whole story. These successes are largely down to the community engagement schemes that firefighters have pioneered. The role of firefighters is ever changing. Although fighting fire remains a core duty it does not end there, firefighters respond to road traffic collisions, medical emergencies, industrial disasters, chemical spillages and major incidents such as terrorist attacks or civil disturbances.
Last year firefighters performed nearly 40,000 rescues.
These cuts put lives at risk - there could be more damage to homes, businesses, schools, communities, the economy and the environment.
By the governments own admission 999 response times are at a 20 year high. In an emergency - every second counts.
Your fire and rescue service costs you less than £1 per week.
Don’t let them destroy the fire and rescue service. Sign this petition now!
Demand they put public safety first and invest in the fire and rescue service!
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