Overstretched and under-resourced accident and emergency departments across the UK have led to fire engines being used as makeshift ambulances in a desperate attempt to stem the crisis.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: â€œThe A&E crisis is a direct result of the governments failed austerity agenda.
â€œThe public are being put at risk because the government have cut staff, resources and equipment in both the NHS and fire and rescue service.
â€œIn certain incidences firefighters have been diverted away from doing their own work to cover for mistakes made by this government in the NHS.
â€œThe knock on effect means that vital fire prevention work will be compromised as well as the ability to respond to other fire emergencies at a time of year where firefighters are expecting to deal with an increased number of flooding incidents across the UK.
â€œThe A&E crisis is a product of this governmentâ€™s failed policies â€“ they need to get a grip.â€
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