Council leader clarifies comments on emergency service training

Council leader clarifies comments on emergency service training

Simon Meechan

Council leader David Burbage

The leader of the Royal Borough says he wants emergency service personnel to 'up-skill' and he is not suggesting they swap roles.

Speaking in response to Fire Brigades Union and Unison criticism of a blog he posted on Conservative Home, Conservative councillor for Bray and Royal Borough leader David Burbage said any suggestion that he is asking emergency service staff to swap roles is 'misleading'.

Instead, he would like them to 'up-skill', a practice he says the borough promotes with its employees.

He said: "What we do as the Royal Borough is to try and get people to be up-skilled in more than one role, so we do not just have car parking attendants issuing car parking tickets.

"Firefighters have a lot of training in firefighting, and a lot of downtime in which they take that training. Do we want them to be able to save your life if you've having a stroke?"

"We want them to be able to do as much as they can. It's good for their careers, good for variety, good for the general public, and it's straight forward."

Multi-skill training, Cllr Burbage said, would allow emergency service staff to be able to do 'as much as possible' to save lives.

He said: "If you're someone that's attending a scene, whether ambulance man, firefighter or police you want them to be able to save lives. I don't think police shouldn't be allowed to operate a defibrillator, or shouldn't be trained to a particular level of medical assistance. I think that is ridiculous.

"To suggest that there has to be a level of strict demarcation so you have to send three people to an incident is ridiculous. It's just not living in the real world."

He added fire and ambulance services 'already combined in many cities'.

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