Alex calls for mental health support for firefighters and frontline services

The need for fit and proper mental and physical health care for firefighters and other frontline services has been raised by Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham in a House of Commons debate.

In a question to Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Alex said

The stress facing our firefighters has grown considerably under this Government. We have fewer of them and many have been replaced with retained firefighters like in Cleveland and as we’ve heard they all face some of the most difficult of circumstances. 

Does the Minister recognise these circumstances and stressors impact on the mental and physical health of firefighters, and can he tell me what the Government are going to improve the health services they need?

Unfortunately, the Minister failed to address the question, speaking of the need to appropriate strategies and resources, and alluding to the spending review.

Speaking after the debate, Alex said

People who work in frontline services, such as firefighters, do so under extreme pressure and strain – all of which can have a negative impact on their physical and mental health. As a society we should be doing all we can to ensure firefighters and others are properly supported. Unfortunately it appears that the Government has not really considered this.