Firefighters call off threat to take industrial action

Cumbria fire engine

The Fire Brigades Union has lifted its threat to take unofficial industrial action over allegations of the treatment of its members by the Department of Health.

An email sent to members by a FBU official and seen by BBC Radio Foyle, highlights the concerns.

The e-mail alleges a campaign led by "elements" within the Department of Health, to "demonise" the Service.

Jim Quinn from the FBU said further meetings are planned for Monday.

"The problem is that the Department of Health has a stranglehold on spending for the fire service and my members are concerned this will have an impact on their safety.

"Currently we are unable to spend money in a way we see fit, to buy life saving equipment like uniforms and parts for fire engines, but anytime we try to buy this equipment hurdles are put in front of us.

"Red tape and bureaucracy seems to be emanating from the department when we try to buy this equipment.

Damaged

"For example all fire fighters require two sets of uniform because one set could become contaminated or damaged.

"We were able to purchase a set for most people last year but when we went back to buy a second set we were told the advice had changed and now a business case had to be made.

"So now it can stretch out for six months to a year.

"Members have decided enough is enough."

Mr Quinn said because meetings are being convened by the Department of Health in the coming days the threat of industrial action has been lifted.