Magazine article The Spectator

Part-Time Heroes

Magazine article The Spectator

Part-Time Heroes

Article excerpt

Sir: I noted with interest the article about 'lazy firemen' ('Britain's firefighters are underworked and inflexible', 26 July). I am Lincolnshire's Chief Fire Officer with more than 35 years' service, and though there was much truth in what Leo McKinstry said, what he failed to address was the progress made by many fire authorities with part-time staff who are not represented in the unions castigated in your article. More than half of my fire stations employ part-time staff who respond to the most urgent medical emergencies either in a car or in a fire engine and provide immediate life-saving intervention while the professionally qualified paramedics are en route. We do this in partnership with the ambulance service and with a charity, LIVES, an integrated group of volunteers and professional responders. …

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