Friday, 23 January 2009

Adherence to the EU or public safety?

I (in a post on my other, rather less restrained blog), and others, including the estimable (but equally, or perhaps more unrestrained) Devil's Kitchen, have already been heavily critical of the proposed EU working time directive. Now we have another reason to be opposed:

"Scotland's fire service is under threat from EU working hours regulations, according to a senior fire officer.

MEPs have been criticised for ending the UK "opt out" of the Working Time Directive, which prevents people from working more than 48 hours a week.

Grampian Chief Fire Officer David Dalziel said the rules would prevent fire stations using retained staff.

In Scotland, most fire stations are staffed by part-time fire fighters who have other jobs.

Mr Dalziel said restrictions on how long people can work could spell the end of the retained service and jeopardise safety.

It would also have a huge cost implication with budgets soaring to pay for more full-time staff, he claimed."

The Fire Brigades Union, as to be expected, branded it "scaremongering." Hmm, seems like a fairly realistic, facts-based observation of the situation by Mr Dalziel to me, but then I'm just a blogger. I mean, it's only 321 out of our 391 fire stations that are staffed by part-time retained fire fighters, that's not that many, is it?

EU directives should never fly in the face of public safety; I wish the UK had retained its opt-out from this one.

1 comment:

Patrick McGroin said...

you have an excelent point here, i don't mind (some of the time) firemen scaremongering, but these firestations are in the fucking sticks, the end of nowhere, its not like they can get extrahelp within 20 minutes or whatever. does this apply to people in the TA?