Northumberland firefighters have grave concerns at the scale of cuts announced by Northumberland County Council, saying they will have a significant impact on the level of risk facing the public and firefighters.
Northumberland County Council announced cuts impacting across the entire county, with Haydon Bridge fire station set to close, and the loss of a fire engine at West Hartford.Â Â Fire engines at Alnwick, Wooler, Seahouses and Ponteland are to be replaced by smaller vehicles, but no details are available as to what kind of capacity these vehicles will have.Â There is to be a total reduction of over 25% in the current fleet of front-line fire engines available to protect the public of Northumberland.
The cuts announced yesterday by the County Council still have to go through the Authority and public consultation to determine what the proposals will mean for public safety.
Guy Tiffin, secretary of the FBU in Northumberland, said: â€œFirefighters across Northumberland are shocked and deeply concerned at the level of cuts announced and the impact they will have on the safety of the public and firefighters.â€
â€œNorthumberland is one of the most rural counties in England with extended times for the arrival of fire appliances to incidents.Â These reductions exacerbate this problem.Â The residents of Northumberland are literally facing a postcode lottery in terms of a quick response to a fire or other rescue incident.
â€œThese cuts are neither an intelligent use of resources nor based on the risk across the county.Â These cuts are based on the slash and burn culture of the Conservative Government who are not prepared to resource and fund fire and rescue services appropriately.â€
Steve Walker, Brigade Chair for the FBU in Northumberland said: â€œEvery second counts when firefighters are called upon to respond to an emergency incident. We understand the financial restrictions being placed on Northumberland County Council by the current Government, but the fire service in Northumberland simply cannot absorb these reductions following years of being cut beyond the bone. This has to stop or people are going to die needlessly.Â It is already happening in some areas of the country.â€
The post Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service announce devastating cuts to fire cover appeared first on Fire Brigades Union.