Stop West Midlands Firefighters being taken away from the frontline! #FiredUp
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Recent events such as the fire at Grenfell Tower and terrorist attacks across the country have shown that when you need the fire service, you need them quickly.
But now, councillors in the West Midlands want to use flexible contracts to make firefighters undertake non-emergency work such as transporting people from hospital and picking up people who fall in their home. This will involve frontline firefighters and their emergency vehicles.
Our message is clear; if firefighters are tied up with non-emergency work then they cannot be there for you and your family in your time of desperate need: This is unacceptable.
Currently, because West Midlands Fire Service has signed up and committed to outside contracts, volunteer staff are being paid at bumper rates in order to prop up the failing work, meaning the money needed for frontline emergency response is now at risk of being siphoned off to sustain non-emergency work.
In order to continue this failing project, West Midlands Fire Authority are issuing new firefighters with flexible contracts which will oblige them to do this type of work; along with any other work outside the role of a firefighter which West Midlands Fire Service are commissioned to do. This will mean firefighters being diverted to non-emergency work, leading to the number of emergency vehicles available being reduced. Firefighters in the emergency control room will be tied up on non-emergency calls, putting 999 callers at risk, people who need us in a life or death situation.
Firefighters firmly believe that West Midlands Fire Service are currently running these non-emergency services at a massive financial loss to fulfil contracts. Tax payers contribute on the understanding that their hard-earned money goes to provide the excellent response and prevention work that firefighters deliver. They do not expect their money to be redirected to take on and prop up outside contracts in areas of business that the service has no experience in. This course of direction poses a very real risk of back door privatisation of your fire service.
Firefighters also have grave concerns that if they are made to undertake this work, then those outside the fire service currently doing this work could lose their jobs. They do not wish to be part of a project which leads to job losses for some of the lowest paid, hardest working men and women in our society.
By signing this petition you are calling on the Fire Authority to end the issuing of flexible contracts to firefighters and to have all emergency frontline vehicles available for emergencies and not tied up at non-emergency work. You agree that the profession of firefighting must be respected and not watered down. You are voicing your position loud and clear that you support your firefighters and demand that the Fire Authority rescind this course of direction immediately.
Thank you for your support.
Please share and spread the message that firefighters and fire engines are not for sale to the highest bidder.
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