Responding to the release of a report by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee into the effect of budget cuts on the ability of the government to respond to floods, Fire Brigades Union General Secretary, Matt Wrack, said:
“Firefighters are on the front line when floods take place, yet the government is slashing fire and rescue budgets to ribbons.
“Our ability to protect public safety during floods, fires, road traffic accidents and major incidents such as terrorist attacks is already being tested to breaking point, and further cuts will endanger lives.
“This report echoes concerns firefighters have had for years, and its testament to the hard work they put in that recent floods have not been even more damaging and dangerous.”
At present, there is no formal expectation for fire and rescue services to attending floods in England and Wales. The FBU argues that a statutory duty for firefighters to attend floods would help fire and rescue services, other emergency services and the government as a whole plan effectively and reduce risk to life and property. Such a duty has already been adopted in Scotland and Northern Ireland.