Bain fire review sets out sweeping reforms (From FT)

M. Adams galture at
Mon Dec 16 11:13:54 MST 2002

Since this is quite a short report I'm posting it in
full.  It's worth noting that when the Firefighters'
strike started, with a demand of 40%, a rumour had
emerged that the employers had been offering 16% but
had been refused. One FBU spokesman remarked that he
had no idea where the 16% figure had come from.  Now
it appears that the offer stands at 11% plus sweeping
reforms, including cuts in staff levels.

Also interesting is the mention of payment for some
services - are we going to see a return to the days
when the first thing the (private) firefighters looked
for was in insurance plaque on the side of the burning
building before they intervened?
Bain fire review sets out sweeping reforms

By David Turner
December 16 2002

The keenly-awaited Bain report into the UK fire
service on Monday put forward a pay increase of 11 per
cent for firefighters in return for sweeping reforms.

The report also suggested that only about half of the
jobs lost through natural wastage would need to be
filled over the next few years – a clear signal the
fire service employs more people than is necessary.

The report emphasised the need for firefighters to be
distributed around the country to meet risk where and
when it was most prevalent.   This is the key area in
which the review team feels the personnel  savings can
be made.

It is difficult to underestimate the changes proposed
in the report.  Sir George Bain said: “We recommend
changes in every aspect of the current fire service to
bring it up to the best standards of other
organisations at the beginning of the twenty-first
century. This means changing just about everything”.

The report also suggests the fire service could earn
millions of pounds by charging for some services. This
will include forcing insurance companies to help meet
the costs of road traffic accidents and charging for
false alarms.

The Fire Brigades Union, which represents the bulk of
British firefighters, is likely to oppose the findings
vehemently – particularly   since the report does not
endorse the union’s demand that fire control staff
should be paid the same as firefighters.

Mark Adams

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