To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of how many and what proportion of firefighters between the age of 55 and 60 will fail the fitness test in each of the next five years.
20 November 2014
There are currently over 1,000 firefighters in the Service aged 55 or over, all of whom provide a valuable contribution to the fire service. The pension reforms protect those who are closest to their scheme’s Normal Pension Age and therefore no firefighter will need to work beyond their current scheme’s Normal Pension Age over the next five years. The Government commissioned report Normal Pension Age for Firefighters found that there was no reason why every firefighter who stayed physically active could not remain operational until age 60. The report can be found at http://www.clg.heywood.co.uk/node/658. There is no single fitness standard in fire and rescue authorities and Dr Williams' assessment was based on current practices amongst fire and rescue authorities.
On 28 October I published a consultation to put the key fitness principles onto a statutory footing through the Fire National Framework. These proposals underpin the fitness and capability processes that exist within individual fire and rescue authorities and complement the work being undertaken by the joint fitness group facilitated by the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, Peter Holland. These important initiatives will help reassure firefighters that they will be appropriately supported throughout their career.