As at 31 March 2008 there were 14,166 retained duty system firefighters in England. This is 31 per cent of all firefighters.
The number and type of fire stations in England is set out below.
As at 31 March 2008 there were 774 wholly retained duty system fire stations in England, 54 per cent of all fire stations. Day-crew stations may be crewed by both wholetime and retained firefighters, while wholetime—other duty system and nucleus stations utilise both wholetime and retained firefighters.
Type of fire station Number Wholetime 2:2:4 shift 551 Day-crew 97 Wholetime—other duty system 14 Nucleus 3 Retained duty system 774 Total 1,439
Type of fire station
Wholetime 2:2:4 shift
Wholetime—other duty system
Retained duty system
A total of 294,000 fires were attended, by fire and rescue services in England, in the year ending 31 March 2008.
Information on the crewing of tenders and appliances that attend fire incidents is not held centrally and can only be provided at disproportionate cost.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the position of retained firefighters under the proposals being considered by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament for amending the Working Time Directive; and what is their position on those proposals. [HL1651]
Implementation of the working time directive, by setting a 48-hour maximum to the working week, could seriously impact on firefighters working the retained duty system in view of the substantial numbers who work full time for a primary employer. The UK Government therefore place great importance on retaining their opt-out from the directive, a position that was acknowledged by the European Union Council of Ministers in June when it agreed in the common position that it should be retained, and will continue to defend it.
The amendments to the common position voted by the European Parliament on 17 December are the latest step in a complex negotiation; a process of conciliation between both parties, the presidency and the Commission is now under way. Officials from my department are in contact with a range of fire and rescue service stakeholders to ensure that the potential impact is understood; and working with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, which has the UK lead on the working time directive, to inform the ongoing debate and ensure MEPs and EU member states are briefed appropriately.