LETTER Firefighters need fitness

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With an interest in the local Fire Brigade dating back to the late 1930s (although never a fireman or firefighter as they appear to now be known), I read with amazement the explanation from Stephen Lloyd MP for not supporting the objections of the firefighters’ union to changes in its members’ pension scheme which includes a requirement that they work until the age of 60.

It suggests very little, if any, knowledge of the degree of fitness – that is, strength and agility – needed by firefighters, male and female, to successfully and safely deal with the wide variety of incidents the public expects them to deal with.

The increased expectation of life does not automatically extend the same degree of health and fitness to the age of 60 years. With the issue still not resolved and the possibility, I assume, of another vote, I suggest Mr Lloyd increases his knowledge of a firefighter’s work by visiting the Eastbourne Fire Station or, better still, the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s training centre.

I am sure staff would willingly introduce him to the training required and equipment used to ensure the continuing ability of operational personnel to deal efficiently and effectively with the incidents to which they have been called. I am also sure such a visit would cause him to reconsider any future action on his part regarding this matter.

F. Thomas

Westham