FIREFIGHTERS in the region will be helping to mark the centenary of their union.

And to celebrate the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) milestone, a new website has been launched examining 100 years of brigade history.

Visitors to the site – – can explore ways in which the union has contributed to improving the safety of both the public and its members through campaigns.

Matt Wrack, for the FBU, said: “We want to celebrate the work of firefighters and the union, which over ten decades have shaped the modern fire and rescue service and have immeasurably improved public safety.

“Far fewer people die in fires today than 100 years ago. This is not a happy accident – it is a result of the union and its members campaigning relentlessly for changes over the last century.

“When the union was first formed, firefighters had the most primitive protective equipment, were forced to live on stations full-time, had no access to pensions and were paid less than unskilled labourers.

“Although the situation for firefighters today is far from perfect, the improvements we have seen are the result of campaigns run by the union.”