New data shows surge in fire service accidents and injuries in Bucks and Milton Keynes as firefighters protest

A protest has been organised today demonstrating against budget cuts
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Fire service accidents and injuries in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes have surged 22 per cent as firefighters have voiced safety concerns.

According to the new Health, Safety and Wellbeing Annual Report, accidents and injuries in Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service increased from 36 to 44 in 2022/23 compared to 2021/2022.

The data comes as firefighters at a rally in Milton Keynes today (6 December) will call for investment in the service to “keep the public and firefighters safe”.

Bucks Fire and Rescue ServiceBucks Fire and Rescue Service
Bucks Fire and Rescue Service

The report also shows that the injury rate has increased from 75.2 to 90.5 per 1,000 and that reports of near misses have increased from 40 to 45.

During the same period, reports of vehicle damage have decreased by 13.6 per cent, while reports of equipment have increased by 20 per cent.

There were also three separate acts of violence against firefighters over the last 12 months, two of which saw members of the public attack fire engines with fireworks, although there were no injuries.

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Jason Thelwell, who stepped down as Buckinghamshire’s Chief Fire Officer last month, admitted it had been a “challenging” year, but said the service had made progress in health and safety, including with the rollout of new breathing apparatus to firefighters.

In a statement, he said: “Safety events continue to place a significant financial burden on the Service.

“However, a cost cannot be placed against death or serious injury, which is why we must continue to maintain a positive health and safety culture which is inclusive for all.”