The Fire Brigades Union’s evidence was mentioned several times in a House of Lords debate on the governments planned â€œHeroism Billâ€.
The bill aims to give extra legal protection for people who are sued for negligence after they have acted â€œheroicallyâ€ or in the public interest.
Critics have called the bill a media stunt based on health and safety media perception rather than reality, saying it would do nothing that the current law does not already do.
The FBU believes that this legislation could end up diluting the protection available for firefighters by allowing employers to put individuals into dangerous circumstances and ask them to effectively perform a task for which they have not been trained, resourced or equipped to deal with.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, gave evidence to the public bill committee of MPâ€™s considering the legislation in September, saying: â€œFor us, health and safety is a life and death matter, and we object strongly to people trivialising it and turning it into a joke or headline-grabbing stories.â€
Lord Lloyd of Berwick, who spoke in the Lords to make amendments to the motion, used evidence from the FBU noting that the bill was dangerous saying â€œFor years, the fire brigadeâ€™s advice to the public in the case of fire is to get out as quickly as possible and stay out. It thinks that Clause 4 (of the bill) undermines that advice.
â€œIf a member of the public enters the scene of a fire to rescue someone, he puts at risk not only his own life but the lives of the firefighters who may have to rescue him as well.â€
Lord Kennedy of Southwark also said the FBU made compelling comments on the issue of heroism and the union was right to point out concerns that this bill could encourage people to behave recklessly.
You can find a full transcript of the Lords debate on the Heroism Bill here.
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