Boris Johnson To Privatise London’s Fire Services
BORIS Johnson wants to privatise London’s Fire Services. That’s the story according to Liberal Conspiracy at least, Boris is thinking of privatising the fire controls rooms in London and certainly some of his mukkers have muttered about privatising the whole shebang.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson is planning to rush through the privatisation of the London Fire Brigade control centre.
It would be the start of privatisation within London’s fire services and open the door to further privatisation.
In 2008, Conservative London Assembly Member Brian Coleman, a key political ally of Boris, also refused to rule out privatising all of London’s fire services.
Coleman is now pushing plans to fully privatise the control centre by March 2012.
Sounds just absolutely appalling, doesn’t it? Letting private companies make money off saving lives, there ought to be a law against this sort of thing.
Except, except, it’s often worth looking up and taking a look around rather than just restricting the debate to what we do here in the UK. For example, two thirds of Danish fire services are provided by a private, for profit, company and I’ve not seen anyone pointing out how appalling it is that millions of Danes burn to death each year. In fact, the same company provides most of the ambulance services too.
Falck is the largest private ambulance company in Europe and the largest private fire fighting service in the world. The ambulance service, fire fighting activities and patient transport are organised in our Emergency business area.
Falck provides ambulance services to the general public in 14 countries in close collaboration with the authorities. Falck has more than 1800 ambulances which respond to more than two million emergency calls each year: people who are critically ill, women in labour and accident victims. Falck also participates in a large number of other prehospital schemes including rapid response units with paramedics, nurses and doctors and including emergency helicopters.
In 1922, Falck became a fire service and soon Falck’s fire brigades fought fires in most of Denmark. Today Falck provides fire fighting services in two thirds of the Danish municipalities, closely cooperating with the authorities. Since 2010, Falck has offered fire services outside of Denmark and obtained contracts in Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.
Someone, somewhere, needs to explain why having a private company providing fire services in London is such a bad idea when it seems to work just fine in Copenhagen.