‘Under pressure’ fire crews are in demand

editorial image

Lincolnshire firefighters attended almost 200 more fires last year, figures reveal.

The Fire Brigades Union has warned that services are under pressure, and voiced concern that ‘massive cuts’ have led to a significant increase in fires across England.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service was called out to 2,092 fires in 2018-19, Home Office figures show.

That’s an increase of 10% compared to the previous 12 months, when 1,900 were reported.

The overall number of emergency callouts in Lincolnshire fell significantly, however, largely due to a sharp decrease in the number of non-fire incidents, such as road traffic accidents.

Across England, fire and rescue services attended almost 183,000 fires in 2018-19, a rise of 9% on the previous year.

The FBU accused the Government of being “utterly complacent about fire safety for years” and said firefighters were responding to more incidents with fewer resources.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Shamefully, firefighters are being thanked for their efforts this year with yet another real-terms pay cut.

“We are deeply concerned that, after massive cuts to fire safety officers and years of fire safety deregulation, there has been a significant increase in fires in England.”

In Lincolnshire, there were five fire-related fatalities and 124 non-fatal casualties last year.

Across England, 253 people were killed in fires in 2018-19, compared with 339 the previous year – which included 70 deaths due to the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Home Office attributed the increase in fires to the hot summer in 2018. A spokesman denied the FBU claims.