CUTS to Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service will put lives at risk, firefighters in Warwickshire said today (Friday).
Government cutbacks mean that the service faces having to make between £2.3 and £3.5 million in savings before 2018, which could lead to the loss of almost 3 out of ten frontline posts.
Fire Brigades Union secretary for Warwickshire, Marcus Giles, said: “The lives of firefighters and the public will be at greater risk as a result of these cuts.
“Job losses means firefighters will be stretched to new levels, and further station closures will be inevitable."
Firefighters argue that the station closures and redundancies undertaken as a result of WF&RS’s 2010 ‘improvement plan’ mean that there is no space for further cuts without seriously jeopardising safety.
As well as front line duties, the Fire Brigades Union argues that the cuts will also threaten community safety activities, fire safety promotion and building inspections.
Reacting to rumours of a merger between WF&RS and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, Giles added: “A merger will result in even more job losses and station closures for Warwickshire.
“Residents do not pay their council tax to receive a reduced service from the fire service.
“Warwickshire would lose its control of its fire and rescue services and decisions about its operations would be handed to a fire authority covering three counties.”
The FBU is encouraging members of the public to have their say on the cuts by responding to the public consultation, which runs between 3 and 31 October and is available at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/shapingthefuture
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