On Wednesday 15th May, representatives from the Fire Brigades Union and the University of Central Lancashire met with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer Justin Johnston who is supporting a research project that will look at contaminants on firefighters’ personal protective equipment (PPE) and working environment.
The meeting, which was held during the Fire Brigades Union national conference in Blackpool, was arranged to put the final touches to a pilot in Lancashire looking at firefighters and contamination. This meeting involved Professor Anna Stec from the University of Central Lancashire, Brian Hooper and Les Skarratts, from the Fire Brigades Union’s Executive Council and local Fire Brigades Union representatives from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.
Chief Fire Officer Justin Johnston says:
“We are delighted to be working with the Fire Brigades Union and the University of Central Lancashire. We have a long and successful history of partnerships with all parties and we look forward to supporting research that in no doubt support best practice and improve firefighter health and safety.”
Sean Starbuck, National Officer leading on the project from the FBU says:
“This important project will provide us with vital information and guidance to help firefighters avoid unnecessary contamination. We are delighted to now be taking the project into fire stations and welcome the collaboration with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service to help us achieve our project aims.
“The union recognises that this is a big issue for firefighters and has accessed funding for this project via the firefighters 100 lottery with support from UCLan.
“It is important that everyone engages with this if we are going to maximise the value of this study. We will initially be asking firefighters in Lancashire to get involved before widening this out to other brigades across the UK.”
Andy Hewitson, a local FBU representative in Lancashire says:
“We are happy to support the project exploring the effects of contaminants on firefighters. The committee encourages all staff in Lancashire to participate as fully as possible in this project as this research will shape future health and safety policies and procedures.”