11 Oct 2018 Last updated at 07:00

Response to FBU over fire service review

Councillor Tig Outlaw, Cabinet member responsible for the fire service, and Howard Watts, the Island's most senior fire officer, have today (Thursday) responded to claims made by the Fire Brigades Union that the proposed fire service review on the Isle of Wight will put lives at risk.

Councillor Outlaw said: "These constant claims by the FBU are irresponsible and will worry residents needlessly.

“These common sense proposals will realign full-time firefighters to meet the need.

"I think most people will understand that having firefighters in the right place at the right time will save lives, not put them in danger.

"I make no apologies for proposing firefighters be on duty when research shows the risk is greatest.

“Research I’ve done demonstrates fire authorities across the country use this model.

"Listening to the FBU you could be forgiven for thinking fire services have stood still since the 1950s, but everyone knows this is simply not the case and that appliances, capabilities and equipment have progressed beyond recognition.

"The fire service on our Island needs to be more responsive to modern challenges and it needs to modernise. This is simply not about money, it’s about making the best of the resources to keep the public safe.”

Howard Watts, the Island’s most senior fire officer, added: “I’m responsible for the safety of our firefighters and while I recognise the FBU’s concerns, I will not put them at any increased risk.

“This move will not change our policy on the number of firefighters on fire engines.

“I believe our firefighters are the best in the country – they’re trained and equipped to the highest of standards.

“These changes will improve the service they deliver, making the community safer.”

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The council has responded to the FBU following its claims lives will be put at risk as a result of the fire service review
The council has responded to the FBU following its claims lives will be put at risk as a result of the fire service review
Factfile
  • The proposed fire service review will be considered by Cabinet members tonight (Thursday).
 
Isle of Wight, UK