Monday, October 23, 2006

Judge backs Lincs fire-fighters in landmark case

Lincs and Notts fire-fighters won a landmark case in the High Court today.

In a test case, fire authorities sought a ruling that fire crews would breach their conditions of service by refusing to attend emergencies where there was no call for their specific skills as professional fire-fighters.

In a practice known as “co-responding”, Fire Authorities want to order crews to respond to medical emergencies if they are able to get to the scene before an ambulance.

The FBU accepted that lives could be saved but argued that trained fire-fighters had a right to decline to attend to medical emergencies under their current contract. They also argued that co-responding undermined the ambulance service.

The judge backed the FBU. According to The Times, he said providing treatment to casualties generally, and in particular to medical emergencies, was something that ought to be carried out by the ambulance service.

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