Criticism of Firefighters – Letter to Editor of News Shopper

In last week’s issue of the News Shopper (one of SE London’s local papers) the editor wrote a piece entitled “Firefighters must live in the real world too” in it he is highly critical of London’s firefighters.

On Friday of last week I sent the following letter:

Dear Sir,

I was extremely disappointed to read your recent article attacking the hugely dedicated firefighters of London. Rescuing severely injured people from traffic accidents or badly burned people from fires is very “real world” and they go to work everyday knowing they may be called on to put their own lives at risk to save others.

When they are not putting out fires or cutting people out of cars, firefighters work proactively on fire prevention which has led to a fantastic reduction in both fires and fire deaths. Yet they remain ready to deal with emergencies whenever and wherever they occur.

Since becoming chairman of the Fire Authority, I have met firefighters from across London and I am proud of their passion and professionalism. They are well aware of the need for the Fire Brigade to save money and improve efficiency while maintaining or position as the best fire and rescue service in the World.


James Cleverly

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