Avon fire authority suspends firefighter cuts following union campaign


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Avon fire authority to pause proposed firefighter cuts

In a significant development on 19 February, the Avon Fire Authority announced plans to pause cuts to 40 firefighter positions.

This decision comes after a concerted campaign by firefighters against the authority’s initial decision last autumn to reduce wholetime firefighter posts and decrease fire engine crew sizes from five to four members across the service.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) had expressed concerns that these reductions would compromise public and firefighter safety.

A rally, attracting over 60 participants, was held outside the fire authority meeting, demonstrating widespread support for the firefighters’ cause.

The authority is expected to confirm this decision formally at their forthcoming meeting.

Comment from the Fire Brigades Union

Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, commented on the authority’s change of course: “Avon fire authority has made the right decision to listen to the concerns of the frontline and halt plans to cut 40 firefighter posts.

“This follows months of campaigning by Fire Brigades Union members. Today’s rally showed the impact of firefighters and the public standing together against cuts.

“The Fire Brigades Union will continue to fight to ensure that our services receive the investment they urgently need.”

Amanda Mills, South West Regional Treasurer for the FBU, also reflected on the campaign’s success: “Firefighters in Avon fought an impressive campaign against cuts to our service.

“Today’s fire authority decision shows that when we stand together, for public and firefighter safety, we can win.

“It’s clear that Avon Fire and Rescue Service needs urgent and sustainable investment.

“The Fire Brigades Union will continue to fight for the long-term future of our vital service.”

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