Firefighters – for every risk you face

Fire and rescue services in your community

The constantly evolving range of services provided by firefighters make them central to our communities. This animation from the FBU outlines the breadth of this role and the need for the service to be saved.


The fire and rescue service plays a fundamental role in our communities – tackling the day to day risks we face.

The role of firefighters is constantly evolving to combat those risks.  It is dramatically different to that of their predecessors.

Fighting fires remains a core duty, but it doesn’t end there. Firefighters respond to road traffic collisions, medical emergencies, industrial disasters, chemical spillages and major incidents such as terrorist attacks or civil disturbances

During the urban riots in 2011 firefighter control staff handled over 5,500 calls in just four days.

Firefighters also played an irreplaceable role in the emergency response to the 7/7 terrorist attacks.

Firefighters are the primary responders to flooding. Nearly 75% of boat rescue teams in England are fire service teams.

As storms wreaked havoc in December 2015 firefighters were on the frontline protecting people, property and communities – responding to over 1,400 flood incidents in the North West of England alone.

Last year firefighters rescued nearly 40,000 people – of those only 10% were at fire-related incidents. 

This indispensable service costs you just £1 a week.

But your fire service is now under threat.

Downward trends in fires and fire deaths are being used to justify savage cuts.

In the last decade, the total number of fires has decreased by two-thirds, fire deaths are down by more than a third and non-fatal casualties have also reduced by almost a third.

These improvements are largely a result of how the service has evolved. Firefighters have pioneered youth engagement and education projects. And the service has reached out to local communities with fire safety advice.

Firefighters perform nearly three-quarters of a million fire safety checks annually.

Since 2010, the Government has cut its funding by 30% resulting in 7000 firefighter job losses.

This inevitably impacts on the ability to respond to incidents swiftly and safely – 999 response times are at their worst in 20 years – and in a life or death situation, every second counts.

The role of the 21st century firefighter is diverse.

The modern day fire and rescue service is a 24 hour, seven days a week all hazard emergency service.

Stand up and save it.