Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority has pushed through cuts that they accept will impact on 999 emergency response times, putting the public at risk, and lead to 34 job losses.
The local fire authority voted to cut two retained fire engines and will reduce the number of firefighters on each engine to four â€“ against the recommended minimum of five that the Fire Brigades Union says is needed to guarantee public health and safety.
Steven Gould, brigade secretary of the FBU in Hereford and Worcester, said: â€œWe think the decision to set the minimum of four firefighters on an engine puts firefighters and the public at risk – we want to see a minimum of five in order to guarantee public protection.
â€œWe are disgusted at the fire authoritiesâ€™ decision to implement cuts to the local fire service. The fact that there have been some concessions by a reactionary Tory-led fire authority is testament to the huge level of public support there is to save our local fire and rescue service.
â€œIt is scandalous therefore that the public have not been consulted about these cuts when there is broad support for a Â£5 increase in council tax to properly fund the service.
â€œThe fight goes on to defend our membersâ€™ jobs, to campaign for public safety and to deliver a fully functioning fire service.â€
Local campaigners were able to collect over 27,000 signatures, over the last nine months, from the public who opposed the cuts.
Original plans by the fire authority to cut ten fire engines were rolled back as a result of local grassroots campaigning.