This documentary photography project about the Fire and Rescue Service. Did you know many fire and rescue operatives are ex-armed forces? Because they appreciate the camaraderie, and joined to make a difference in their community.
The service has experienced funding cuts of 30% during the course of the last parliament (2011-2015), which equates to one in eight fire-fighter jobs gone as well as stations, appliances and equipment. Another 40% are being planned. Because of its rural location, the village in which I live sometimes cannot send out its appliance as there are not enough personnel to man it. So teams from the next nearest town will respond. The fire service costs each of us £50 per year.
Whilst the number of fires attended has gone down in recent years, they are increasingly being called to other types of incident. Such as floods and road traffic collisions.
Because the service is increasingly using ‘on call’ operatives that live and work within 5 minutes of their Fire & Rescue Station. So they can be on call for up to 100 hours a week. These on call fire & rescue personnel receive about £1.20 per hour for being on call.
They will be expected to work until they are 60 however a report recognises 66% will not meet the current fitness standard. As a result many may have to leave with a pension reduced by 20% or face dismissal.
Before starting work with the Fire & Rescue Service recruits undertake an intensive training programme. This is designed to equip them with the skills they need before attending incidents. This is a documentary photography insight into that journey.