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Union warns Llanelli fire crew cuts will risk lives

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 06, 2012

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FIREFIGHTERS in Llanelli have warned that lives will be lost after fire chiefs advertised their jobs.

The Fire Brigades Union is fighting plans to introduce a new crewing system that they say would reduce the number of firemen at Llanelli fire station from 28 to 13.

A FBU spokesman said: “It is arrogance of the highest degree when service managers feel they have the right to expose their fire crews and members of the local community to greatly increased risk.”

The union claims the jobs of firefighters at Llanelli fire station have been advertised and members could be forced to work at other fire stations.

The FBU spokesman added: “Who will bear the lion’s share of the responsibility when the inevitable member of public or firefighter fatality occurs.”

He went on to describe the proposed changes as “lunacy”.

The spokesman added: “Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has already endured a reduction of well over 100 frontline posts over the past 10 years; there is no more scope for reduction.”

One firefighter at Llanelli fire station, who asked not to be named, said: “I feel as if someone is pulling out the rug from under my feet.

“All we can do is hold out hope that at the eleventh hour someone will see sense before anyone gets hurt.”

The FBU is considering legal action in a bid to thwart the changes.

A Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said the shift patterns were being improved and made more efficient, while emergency cover would remain the same.

She said staff working at Llanelli could apply for the positions within the new crewing systems. Those who did not wish to keep working at Llanelli could say where they would like to work and “we will do our utmost to accommodate them.

“The new crewing system at Llanelli will make better use of taxpayers’ money.”

The spokeswoman added that community safety would be improved.

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  • MrRRP  |  December 07 2012, 8:47PM

    "Those who did not wish to keep working at Llanelli could say where they would like to work and "we will do our utmost to accommodate them." Sounds like bullying to me ! They either fall in line and work the system or be in danger of working somewhere they don't want to. The option of working where they want to YEAH RIGHT! The sooner the bully's get booted out the better.

  • marcuswrose  |  December 06 2012, 8:32PM

    Why is all the flack for Llanelli coming from Carmarthen, reducing our fire service, Trying to stop 24/7 Police presence at the main Police Station. Closing district police offices. Reducing our NHS and taking away a large slice of hospital services. Trying to remove our A+E. Trying to close down Mynydd Mawr Hospital Tumble and replace it with an inferior structure in Crosshands. When almost half the population of Carmarthenshire live in and around Llanelli the fourth largest town in Wales and the seventh largest area of population.

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  • Taweformation  |  December 06 2012, 5:45PM

    hobbles. And thats a problem because?...... Anyone on here has valid comments no matter who they are or where they work now or wher they used to work!!

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  • hobbles  |  December 06 2012, 5:38PM

    Looks to me that alot of the contributors on this site are either firemen or ex firemen with too much time on thier hands as usual.

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  • Taweformation  |  December 06 2012, 3:12PM

    I agree that they would promote lazyines. But i feel that these managers may be working to targets that are not really applicable. Its clear here that they made poor choices with the equipment! Really we need them to grow a pair and stand up and say "It Was Me" not hide, something they really do meet the target at!

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  • hacker_jack  |  December 06 2012, 2:28PM

    Tawe a target is a target regardless of how easy it is to attain. I would suggest that there is not one single target but rather a set of them that offer differing rewards depending on how successfully they are met (think grading of exams). One set wage with no targets at all just promotes laziness.

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  • Taweformation  |  December 06 2012, 12:44PM

    Ok so who msets these "Targets?" whats the point is the target is so easily attained that its not really a Target? OK it may cost more if we take these away but i am sorry to say a target that is so easy to acheive is not worth it. What is worth talking about here is the clear Fact that the service is top heavy with "OLD BOYS" why are out to pat each other on the back. They forget that they were once having to run hose like the "Workers" have to do. They forget the Much the crews wade through. The fronline crews see people at the worst times in their lives, they deal with the good and bad in society. The stuff that most people never understand. People who have it all and people who live in filth. But they get on with it they risk their physical and mental welbeing each shift. they never know wehn the bells go down what that "Tip" sheet will say or what will meet them when "In Attendance" office boys have to worry who makes the Coffee. They are shameful management who failed as good front line crew, its sometimes get them off the run as they cant Hack Front Line duty!!

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  • hacker_jack  |  December 06 2012, 12:26PM

    Is making better use of taxpayers money, giving Senior Officers bonuses for achieving results... that they are paid to do anyway. ---------------- Actually yes. The problem here is the work "bonus" which implies it is something given without prior agreement. A better wording would be "achievement fee" or "pay for performance". It is always a better deal for the taxpayer to have employees on the books who's wage is dependent on them achieving the goals of their jobs. If they under perform thy get less than 100% of their potential wage. The alternative is that they are paid a set amount regardless (which would be higher than the basic wage now to compensate for the lack of "bonus"

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  • Hadoken868686  |  December 06 2012, 12:14PM

    Why is the media like the evening post scared of opposing views when it comes to talking about muslims. Why do they delete accounts and ban comments which are perfectly legal. If what I was saying was illegal, then surely I would be arrested for it, so why is it that this website pretends to provide a public platform for local residents to air their views but picks and chooses what it would like to contain. I am afraid this will not do and I will be spamming this message as a protest.

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  • PhoenixPlease  |  December 06 2012, 11:17AM

    Fire Service Spokeswoman says.....make better use of taxpayers money. I hope this isn't the same department, that bought 17 vans instead of fire engines and claims they provide the same service, when every other Fire Brigade is rejecting them and why buy 17 unproven vehicles....not better use of taxpayers money. I hope this isnt better use of tax money when the big fire engine in Swansea, is always breaking down, that isn't better use of taxpayers money. Is making better use of taxpayers money, buying top of the range cars for senior managers. Is making better use of taxpayers money, giving Senior Officers bonuses for achieving results... that they are paid to do anyway. Isn't making better use of Taxpayers money, providing a professional service 24/7 , not claiming Community Safety is being improved' fireservice spokeswoman' when fire engines are being replaced by vans, station staff reduced. I know who I trust and when you see the comments in the papers from the firemen who are the ones to help you, please take note, because the same fire service spokeswoman will be rolled out after a fire death to say....we are making better use of taxpayers money, which had no effect on the incident. Perhaps we be better off without all these managers, chiefs and spend the money on frontline services.

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