FEES FOR FALSE FIRE CALL-OUTS.Byline: THOMAS MARTIN
FIRMS could be charged for false alarms and insurance companies might have to pay when fire crews attend road accidents.
Plans for the reform of the fire service, published today, include several areas in which fire brigades could levy charges to generate income.
The Bain review has confirmed its earlier recommendation that firefighters should be given an 11% pay rise over two years, but only if they accept changes in working practices, including their ban on overtime.
Extra medical training, voluntary overtime and additional pay costs would add pounds 177m over three years.
But the report says savings could be made from modernising the service and not replacing every firefighter who retires. Natural wastage natural wastage
Chiefly Brit a reduction in the number of employees through not replacing those who leave, rather than by dismissing employees or making them redundant
natural wastage n (INDUSTRY runs at 4-5% each year, and savings could be made if half the posts becoming vacant are not filled.
It is estimated this could involve 3,500 job losses over three years.
Many of the recommendations will be resisted by the Fire Brigades Union The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is the main union for firefighters in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1918 in the London area as the Firemans Trade Union, but soon grew to cover the entire country. , including calls for overtime and changes to shifts which would see fewer staff working at night.
The report suggests ways of raising money, including charging for attending false alarms.
Around 41% of all calls are false while in some parts of the country 98% of calls to automatic fire alarms turn out to be false.
It is also suggested insurance companies could be charged for the costs of fire crews attending road accidents. l MERSEYSIDE fire leaders today dismissed the Bain report as an irrelevance ir·rel·e·vance
1. The quality or state of being unrelated to a matter being considered.
2. Something unrelated to a matter being considered.
Noun 1. .
Ian Foulkes, chairman of the Merseyside FBU FBU Fire Brigades Union
FBU Fast Binding Update
FBU Franc Burundais (national currency)
FBU Federal Benefits Unit (Social Security, Medicare)
FBU Faciliteiten Bedrijf Utrecht , said: ``This is all about changing the fire service and cuts and we see that as nothing more than a distraction from our pay dispute.
``We've always been opposed to charging for emergency services emergency services Emergency care '…services …necessary to prevent death or serious impairment of health and, because of the danger to life or health, require the use of the most accessible hospital available and equipped to furnish those services' .
``In the past we've used the example of chimney fires, which we used to charge for. People are still reluctant to call up the service and then we end up dealing with a much bigger fire.
``This is a service which should be delivered free to everybody.
``It's not an ideological matter; it's purely and simply a practical one.''