We are now in the process of examining the contents of the report which was released earlier today.
However at first sight the report highlights the statements we have made for many years that efficiency savings within the service have yet to be identified and fully implemented.
It is not unreasonable to expect that the public be provided with a cost-effective emergency service which meets the need. In order for this to be achieved it makes perfect sense to maximise the most cost-effective part of that service by utilising On-Call firefighters wherever possible.
We argue that too many Fire and Rescue Services continue to claim that there are barriers to recruiting and retaining On-Call firefighters, yet any evidence to suggest that any real effort has been made to overcome these barriers is often lacking. We have long held concerns that Fire and Rescue Services have used this argument as a tool to maintain the status qou.
RFU General Secretary John Barton said
The publication of this report will certainly generate significant debate in the weeks ahead and may likely pitch the ideologies of career firefighters against moderate On-Call personnel. However the needs of our members and the communities they are proud to serve must not be sidelined solely to suppress mature debate.