Celebrations for 100th birthday of The Fire Brigades Union in Ely as MEP Alex Mayor supports 'local heroes'
PUBLISHED: 12:53 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:53 26 October 2018
The Fire Brigade Union celebrated its 100th birthday as Cambridgeshire MEP Alex Mayer spoke of her support for the "local heroes" despite drastic cuts to the force over the last eight years.
Ms Mayer presented local firefighters and the union’s representatives Darren Fox and Jim Sharp a birthday cake at Ely Fire Station this morning (Friday October 26).
The union was originally formed in 1918 as the Firemen’s Trade Union (FTU) to look after the interests of firefighters.
On formation the FTU had 1,000 members across the UK, but today the more than 1,000 fighters in Essex alone.
However, the Cambridgeshire force has been cut by 21 per cent and the county has lost 149 firefighters since 2010.
Labour MEP Ms Mayer said: “Happy birthday to the FBU. For 100 years the FBU has fought for firefighters’ rights and long may it continue.
“I’m sure the best birthday present for firefighters would be for this Tory government to stop cutting our firefighters and support staff, and to fully fund our fires services in Essex. These cuts are a real burning issue locally.”
The Labour MEP’s visit comes just a few weeks after she voted in favour of crucial European legislation to monitor and reduce the exposure of carcinogens, including those that firefighters are at risk of inhaling during deadly fires.
Ms Mayer MEP continued: “Our firefighters always seem to be in the news when something awful, like Grenfell happens, but let’s male sure we celebrate the great work that these local heroes do all year round.”