Home Gloucestershire County CouncilFire Planning & Infrastructure Fire Fighter Retirement age – Interesting Research from the BHF!

Fire Fighter Retirement age – Interesting Research from the BHF!

by Barry

I support the FBU in their drive to keep the fire fighter retirement age from rising.  I believe that there are few comparable jobs where the physical and psychological endurance is so unpredictable and going from one extreme to the other, and that peoples lives are held in the balance by the ability for each and every fire fighter to be totally effective all the time.  The British Heart Foundation has been looking at the health of our Fire Fighters because 45% of Fire fighters deaths while on Duty are Heart Attacks!

I often hear the argument that other professions have a higher retirement age, so why not them, and that is true.  The big difference being that in almost every other role, as you get promoted higher, or you have a problem that means you can not be as physical, there are other roles you can fulfil, and generally as you go higher, the less operational and the more strategic you become.  Not so in the fire service, everyone from the Chief down is an operational fire fighter, having to pass the same physical fitness tests.

I wanted to highlight this short video from the British heart foundation, please take 4 minutes out of your day to watch it.

This can be looked at in 2 different ways:

1 – That as the fire fighter gets older, their arteries will increase their reaction to the environment, and increase their risk of heart attack with each shout.  By forcing them to work for longer, we are, without a doubt, increasing the risk of making that 45% of deaths by heart attack a much higher statistic.

2 – When your in that position of having to depend on the attendance of fire fighters, this pension ruling will put you at greater risk, and those who call after you.

Personally I like the first way more, because Fire Fighters are people too, and deserve our compassion and respect, but for those of you who are more inward looking, then the second way is more of a reflection on how it may affect you personally.

I support the stance of the FBU, because its the right thing do to, for Fire Fighters and for the community.  There are more strikes planned, and I support those strikes – but also remember the decision to strike is not taken lightly, either by the union, or by individual fire fighters.  It is clear that the government is not really negotiating, so I don’t see what else the FBU can do to raise the issue, and it si the issue that is important here, not the strike itself!



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