Firefighting listed as the most stressful occupation

FURTHER JUSTIFICATION FOR PSTD TO BE INCLUDED IN PRESUMPTIVE LEGISLATION.

Firefighting has been listed as the most stressful occupation in 2015 ahead of Enlisted Military Personnel and Military General.

The respected Forbes magazine has reported the 100 most stressful occupations which are determined against criteria including:

  • Life of another at risk
  • Own life at risk
  • Level of contact with the publi
  • Hazards encountered
  • Environmental conditions
  • Physical demands
  • Working in the public eye
  • Competitiveness
  • Growth potential and Income

Last year Enlisted Military Personal and Military General were ranked the most stressful jobs with firefighting coming in third.

The continued high-ranking and this year’s title confirms what firefighters already knew – they put their health and lives at risk to protect the community and property in the most stressful of workplaces. The profession requires immediate reaction to highly stressful incidents requiring life and death decision making and while having to manage public and distressed family members.

It is time that the stressful nature of the job and the impact of continued exposure to toxins and traumatic events is recognised to ensure firefighters are able to access medical entitlements, assistance and entitlements for resulting occupational disease and mental health condition, as they can for any other work-related illness or injury.

While significant progress has been made with presumptive legislation recognising occupational cancer for Federal, Tasmanian, Western Australian and South Australian firefighters, the UFUA campaign continues to have all Australian firefighters covered by that presumption.

In Canada the presumption has been extended to include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and in Australia studies confirm the significantly increased risk and occurrence of mental health issues and PTSD for firefighters.

The 10 most stressful jobs of 2015 are:

  1. Firefighting
  2. EnlistedMilitaryPersonnel
  3. MilitaryGeneral
  4. AirlinePilot
  5. PoliceOfficer
  6. Actor
  7. Broadcaster
  8. EventCoordinator
  9. Photojournalist
  10. Newspaper Reporter

Authorised by National Secretary Peter Marshall

Read the PDF from the nation branch here

London and Lincoln’s fire engines sold to private equity firm for £2

AB&A investments now own most of the capital’s firefighting infrastructure.

A fire engine in front of a chemical factory on June 4, 2007, in Crewe, England.

A fire engine in front of a chemical factory on June 4, 2007, in Crewe, England. Photograph: Getty Images

 

The private company which owns and maintains London’s fire engines, AssetCo, has sold its entire UK business to a private equity firm, AB&A Investments, for just £2 according to the Telegraph‘s Helia Ebrahimi:

The move means that AssetCo, which was the subject of a shareholder revolt in 2011, has shed ties to both the Lincoln and London fire brigades amid mounting losses.

The company said the decision to exit its historic UK business was because the management team believed that operations were “based on a flawed business structure”, which was at the heart of why shareholders had lost so much money.

Click here to read complete article by ALEX HERN

Revealed: The Old Etonian Baronet who snapped up London’s fire engines for £2

This is Sir Aubrey Thomas Brocklebank,  6th Baronet Brocklebank, of Greenlands and Irton Hall, Cumberland.

He is now the proud owner – not just of a  battered 2cv  racing car as pictured  here – but of the entire fleet of fire engines owned by the London fire brigade. When you next have a fire in Greater London this is the man who will responsible that the crew arrive in a properly maintained and equipped fire engine.

In the mad world of  privatisation  Sir Aubrey was able to snap the fleet and  get his hands on an income stream worth nearly £200m over the next ten years – for JUST £2.

Click here to read complete article by David Hencke

Detroit’s decision to fend off bankruptcy: pay pensions or banks?

Fears grow that fight to stave off city bankruptcy may hit the poorest hardest

Protesters demonstrate against cuts to Detroit city workers' pensions and healthcare

Protesters demonstrate against cuts to Detroit city workers’ pensions and healthcare. Photograph: Rebecca Cook/Reuters

This is David Allen’s second visit to Engine 40′s fire station on Detroit‘s west side since February 2012 when a wall collapsed on him during a fire leaving him unable to walk without an aide. Last time he was here to clean out his locker. This time, as Detroit careens towards bankruptcy, he is back to talk with colleagues about their prospects.

Detroit’s firefighters are used to danger and loss. The crew laugh and rib each other and Allen as they get ready to eat. But this time they are facing something other than fire. Beneath the camaraderie there is anger and fear.

Allen and his colleagues are among 30,000 Detroit city workers, past and present, who are about to learn what will happen to their pensions and healthcare if the city is allowed to file for  a historic bankruptcy – the largest of  its kind in history.

Click here to read the complete article by Dominic Rushe

Fbu update – more strikes planned after government withdraws proposals

Update on pensions: FBU responds to letter from Fire Minister worsening offer to firefighters Three hours before firefighters were due to go on strike on Friday (1 November), CLG Fire Minister Brandon Lewis wrote to the Fire Brigades Union saying he was withdrawing pension proposals that the government had made on 19 June if the strike proceeded.

Although the FBU did not accept the 19 June proposals, the proposals did at least partially recognise firefighters’ concerns over the ‘No Job, No Pension’ issue. As a result of the 19 June proposals being withdrawn, the government’s current position is that firefighters who are forced to retire from the age of 55 because their fitness is declining would lose over 40% of their pension, rather than 21.8%.

In his reply to Lewis, FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack said that firefighters remained committed to resolving their pension concerns through negotiations, but the Fire Minister’s move was unnecessary and inflammatory. His action had moved the situation further away from a negotiated settlement.

Guarantee needed Although there are several points to the FBU dispute with government in pensions, we have argued that a simple and achievable step forward for pension negotiations is for the government to provide a firm guarantee over the ‘No Job, No Pension’ issue. The fire service employers have recognised the union’s concerns on this issue (fitness related dismissal among older firefighters) and have confirmed in writing that they were unable to provide the firm guarantee required.

In his 1 November letter, Brandon Lewis said that he would now create ‘departmental guidance’ for arrangements on the fitness and capability of firefighters for use nationally by employers, and that this guidance would be incorporated into the Fire and Rescue Service National Framework document, which “sets out the government’s expectations and requirements for fire and rescue authorities”.

However, as Matt Wrack explained in his reply, including guidance in the National Framework document still does not provide a meaningful guarantee over the ‘No Job, No Pension’ issue. In order to address firefighters’ concerns, the government must include a regulation on the issue in the rules that will govern the 2015 pension scheme. The FBU has even provided a draft of this regulation during negotiations, but as yet the government has refused to consider it. As Wrack has asked publicly, “If the government is serious about firefighters being protected from being sacked without access to an unreduced pension, why won’t it draft the pension regulations accordingly?”

What happens next? The next strike will therefore take place in England and Wales between 10am and 2pm on Wednesday 13 November.

In addition, the FBU is balloting members on taking other forms of industrial action as well as more strikes in order to increase pressure the government to find a negotiated solution on non-strike days. The use of other forms will not affect firefighters’ ability to hold further strikes. The ballot on non-strike action will include members in Scotland (but not Northern Ireland) and close on Wednesday 4 December.

The FBU is urging members to VOTE YES in this ballot

FBU update – MORE STRIKES PLANNED AFTER GOVERNMENT WITHDRAWS PROPOSALS

Update on pensions: FBU responds to letter from Fire Minister worsening offer to firefighters  Three hours before firefighters were due to go on strike on Friday (1 November), CLG Fire Minister Brandon Lewis wrote to the Fire Brigades Union saying he was withdrawing pension proposals that the government had made on 19 June if the strike proceeded.

Although the FBU did not accept the 19 June proposals, the proposals did at least partially recognise firefighters’ concerns over the ‘No Job, No Pension’ issue. As a result of the 19 June proposals being withdrawn, the government’s current position is that firefighters who are forced to retire from the age of 55 because their fitness is declining would lose over 40% of their pension, rather than 21.8%.

In his reply to Lewis, FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack said that firefighters remained committed to resolving their pension concerns through negotiations, but the Fire Minister’s move was unnecessary and inflammatory. His action had moved the situation further away from a negotiated settlement.

Guarantee needed Although there are several points to the FBU dispute with government in pensions, we have argued that a simple and achievable step forward for pension negotiations is for the government to provide a firm guarantee over the ‘No Job, No Pension’ issue. The fire service employers have recognised the union’s concerns on this issue (fitness related dismissal among older firefighters) and have confirmed in writing that they were unable to provide the firm guarantee required.

In his 1 November letter, Brandon Lewis said that he would now create ‘departmental guidance’ for arrangements on the fitness and capability of firefighters for use nationally by employers, and that this guidance would be incorporated into the Fire and Rescue Service National Framework document, which “sets out the government’s expectations and requirements for fire and rescue authorities”.

However, as Matt Wrack explained in his reply, including guidance in the National Framework document still does not provide a meaningful guarantee over the ‘No Job, No Pension’ issue. In order to address firefighters’ concerns, the government must include a regulation on the issue in the rules that will govern the 2015 pension scheme. The FBU has even provided a draft of this regulation during negotiations, but as yet the government has refused to consider it. As Wrack has asked publicly, “If the government is serious about firefighters being protected from being sacked without access to an unreduced pension, why won’t it draft the pension regulations accordingly?”

What happens next? The next strike will therefore take place in England and Wales between 10am and 2pm on Wednesday 13 November.

In addition, the FBU is balloting members on taking other forms of industrial action as well as more strikes in order to increase pressure the government to find a negotiated solution on non-strike days. The use of other forms will not affect firefighters’ ability to hold further strikes. The ballot on non-strike action will include members in Scotland (but not Northern Ireland) and close on Wednesday 4 December.

The FBU is urging members to VOTE YES in this ballot

http://davidhencke.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/revealed-the-old-etonian-baronet-who-snapped-up-londons-fire-engines-for-2/

http://www.newstatesman.com/business/business/2012/08/london-and-lincolns-fire-engines-sold-private-equity-firm-2