Fire Brigades Union pours cold water over mooted firefighter healthcare role

(Title Image: Wales Online)

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has dismissed a Welsh Government proposal to give firefighters a wider healthcare role to support the ambulance service.

Setting out early proposals for a new vision for fire and rescue services, Deputy Minister for Local Government & Housing, Hannah Blythyn (Lab, Delyn), said firefighter training could help deal with medical emergencies given a 30% fall in the number of fires since 2010.

“I want to see a Fire and Rescue Service which deals with a range of threats to people’s health and safety, both in terms of prevention and emergency response, complementing not duplicating the work of other professionals. Only by doing so can we maximise the Service’s public value and secure a sustainable future for it.”
– Deputy Minister for Local Government & Housing, Hannah Blythyn

The FBU rejected any suggestion that firefighters were under-occupied, criticising the fact the announcement was made without any consultation.

An FBU spokesperson told BBC Wales: “We are always open to discussing the role of firefighters, subject to negotiation, funding, training and resourcing. But the Welsh Government should bear in mind that firefighters are not doctors, nurses, paramedics, or social workers and nor should they be.”