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Support our Firefighters!


Solidarity with Firefighters’ strikes

12pm – 2pm and 10.59pm – 11.59pm

Daily: Saturday 9 – Saturday 16 August 2014

Support FBU pickets at firestations across Sussex

Defend Firefighters against “No Job, No Pension”

 Hastings solidarity picket

Watch this short FBU film summarising the issues that have led firefighters to take strike action over the last eleven months against Coalition attacks on firefighters’ pensions and the reckless cuts to the Fire & Rescue Service – happening nationwide, not just in Sussex.  Please stand together with firefighters as they take action again this week.

Hove picket crop

Over the last fortnight in Sussex we have seen storms, flash floods, travel chaos, many fires including the devastating blaze on Eastbourne Pier, and the tail-end of hurricane Bertha.  Meanwhile, in its drive to force through an increase to firefighters’ retirement age from 55 to 60, the Coalition plans to reduce a key firefighter fitness standard from 42 to 35 VO2.  Such a drop in fitness of nearly 20%  will put everyone’s lives at risk in the emergency situations when we most rely on our rescue services.  Do we want to test whether crews of 60 year old firefighters could have coped with the last fortnight in Sussex?

Old age firefighter

Although public sympathy for firefighters undoubtedly caused Cameron to appoint his third Fire Minister in four years, Tory MP Penny Morduant has carried on as before by cancelling talks with the FBU rather than continuing a constructive dialogue to avert strikes this week.  On a recent visit to Sussex the new Fire Minister’s priority was to view street art rather than meet firefighters just across the road at Brighton’s Preston Circus firestation.

Preston Circus picket line_up

It is only natural for some spirits to drop after 11 months in dispute with this callous Coalition.   So please show firefighters your support by standing with them on FBU picket lines at local firestations, sending solidarity messages and posting support on social media.  Firefighters are there for all of us, providing fire and rescue services in the most dangerous of conditions, whenever needed.  This is routine for firefighters, who are deeply committed to their local communities and do not take strike action lightly: “People do not become firefighters to become rich…(but) to serve the public, to put other people first, to risk their lives to save others” Simon Herbert, Chair, East Sussex FBU.


This week, please make an effort to show firefighters your appreciation and support.  If you cannot attend either the lunchtime or late night pickets at local firestations, please ensure that you have supported the new FBU campaign Justice for our Firefighters by signing the petition calling on East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service to pay the compensation due to the families of Brighton firefighters Brian Wembridge and Geoff Wicker, who were killed at Marlie Farm in 2006.  It is nothing short of a scandal that East Sussex Fire Authority members allow ESFRS management to continue to contest this case despite damning court judgements.


Remember, an attack on workers’ pensions is always the first step of a government preparing to sell-off a public asset, as private companies do not want the open-ended liability of paying staff pensions.  Cutting a service to the bone is the second step – in an attempt to persuade people that the service could be better run privately.  We are seeing continued huge cuts to Fire Services around Sussex and across the country.  The FBU estimates that 6,000 firefighter posts have been lost in the UK since 2007 which jeopardise the Fire Service’s ability to deal with floods and all major incidents.

Lone picket at Battle Firestation

Please support firefighters’ picket lines during these eight days of strikes between Saturday 9 and 16 August 2014.  Please sign the petitions to stop the cuts to the UK’s Fire Services and to stop the attacks on firefighters’ pensions.  The Fire Service is facing huge cuts under the Coalition.  We must stand together with firefighters now to defend our Fire Service. 

Hastings crop

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