Page last updated at 18:43 GMT, Wednesday, 14 July 2010 19:43 UK

Fire service 'could not function' without volunteers

On 14 July 2010, Dan Byles, Tory MP for North Warwickshire and Bedworth, led a debate on the role of retained fire fighters.

Retained fire fighters are paid volunteers who spend up to 120 hours a week on call, while at work in their normal occupation.

Mr Byles said that retained fire fighters are "local people who care about their neighbourhoods" and that "the fire service could not function without them in its current form".

Communities and Local Government Minister Bob Neill said he "fully appreciates just how vital retained fire fighters are" and spoke about their importance in "small towns and rural communities, and for national resilience arrangements".

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