Elephant culling: statistically speaking you have more chance of being struck by lightning than getting another 16 per cent pay rise. On the basis of all risk being relative, FIRE canvasses the public to hear what they think about the sector.(Viewpoint)

Reducing fire risk in the community is relatively mundane fare to a media-lashed public served a seemingly never ending succession of natural and man-made disasters.

The Asian Tsunami, London bombings, Hurricane Katrina and the Pakistan earthquake form a sensory overload of vast catastrophe and unfathomable human suffering. In the face of global tragedy, we can be forgiven for thinking how fortunate we are to remain largely unscathed (even though July 7, Bostcastle and Carlisle belie the presumption).

Against this backdrop, fire and rescue services are wrestling with community leaders to engage them in the ethos of integrated risk management and raise the public perception of risk. Ask Penny Public about Al-Qaeda and you may well hear chapter and verse on training camps, asylum seekers, immigration, shoot-to-kill and so on . …

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