Saturday, 7 March 2009

Retained Fire Fighters

The retained fire station on the Headland has weathered several storms and more than one attempt to close it as a cost cutting measure. However, it may soon be facing a challenge that may see its doors finally close. The UK fire services could be forced to lose thousands of retained fire-fighters once the European Union Working Time Directive comes fully into force. European Union Rules prevent anyone from working more than 48 hours a week and so could hit retained fire-fighters who often also have another job. One in five north east fire-fighters are retained personnel and in England as a whole there are about 28,000 retained fire-fighters, out of 74,000 fire men and woman in the service.

If the current 48 hour rule opt-out is removed then that is going to require a fundamental review of how the Headland Station is manned. Going over to a full time manned station would undoubtedly come with significant additional cost and could be used to justify closing the station all together. The Labour Party are in favour of the 48 hour rules, which are backed by the European Parliament.

European Union Rules have close post offices, almost killed off British Fishing, made it illegal to protect British Jobs for British Workers, costs the UK over £106,000 a minute (that’s over £150,000,000 EVERY DAY) and now possibly threaten our Fire and Rescue Services. When will the people realise we’d be better off out

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