Return of EU rule sparks fears for Cambs' retained firefighters

CAMBRIDGESHIRE could lose more than half its firefighters if the UK is forced to adopt European Union rules on working hours, it has been claimed. The fire service fears the vital cover provided by the county s retained firefighters would be seriously com

CAMBRIDGESHIRE could lose more than half its firefighters if the UK is forced to adopt European Union rules on working hours, it has been claimed.

The fire service fears the vital cover provided by the county's retained firefighters would be seriously compromised if the country is forced to implement, in full, the Working Time Directive.

The rules, already in place in parts of the EU, can make it illegal for people to work more than 48 hours without a break. The hours can include time when people are on call.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service - as well as other fire brigades around the country - fear the rules would threaten the future of retained firefighters who often have other jobs.

Graham Stagg, Cambridgeshire chief fire officer, said the removal of the retained duty system would require a full review of fire cover and increase costs.

For full details see this week's Hunts Post