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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Lauren McGregor

Scottish Greens urge Holyrood to support firefighters at risk of illness

MAGGIE Chapman of the Scottish Greens has called on MSPs to support firefighters who are at risk due to inadequate station facilities.

Firefighters are more prone to developing cancer at a younger age due to exposure to intense heat, smoke and toxins, recent research has suggested.

Unions, such as the Fire Brigade Union (FBU), have said that health risks are linked to a lack of decontamination facilities at fire stations across Scotland which, if they were in place, may reduce the risk of illness.

A safety campaign by the FBU was raised in the Scottish Parliament by Maggie Chapman.

The MSP said: “Firefighters in the UK have waited far too long for protections which are standard practice elsewhere. Many, as we know, have died waiting.

"We in Scotland, now, have the opportunity to change this, to bring justice, care, humanity and respect to the firefighters to whom we owe so very much.

“Now it is our turn to help protect them by throwing our support behind their appeal for more and better decontamination facilities so they are not continuing to see their own health being put at risk long after they have risked their lives saving us. "

My appeal to MSPs in the Scottish Parliament today was to unite behind this campaign and support their call.”

Colin Brown, the FBU's executive council member for Glasgow, said: “The campaign is calling for annual health monitoring for all firefighters, continuing after retirement, suitable recording of occupation as a firefighter in health records including death certificates, legislation that will ensure affected firefighters are given compensation and investment to ensure that facilities and equipment required to protect workers from occupational cancer is in place."

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