Fire service cuts to save £5.5m go to public consultation

This is The West Country: Fire service cuts to save £5.5m go to public consultation Fire service cuts to save £5.5m go to public consultation

A RAFT of proposals to save £5.5million will result in "fewer firefighters, fewer fire stations and fewer fire engines" it was claimed this morning (January 18).

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is looking to buy more small fire engines, respond to less automatic fire alarms, cut the number of bosses and have some firefighter 'on call' rather than working 'wholetime'.

It claims the changes, along with others, will help address a shortfall in funding from the Government.

The proposals were backed by fire authority members at their meeting this morning and go out to public consultation over the next 12 weeks.

Chief Fire Officer Lee Howell said: "The grant reductions for our service were harsher than we would have liked.

"This means that we will need to manage our service with approximately £5.5million less each year and won't be able to operate in the way in which we currently do.

"However, at this stage, we do not plan on closing fire stations, removing fire engines or making staff compulsory redundant."

Mr Howell said staff numbers would be reduced through "natural turnover", with support staff numbers going down 5% by not renewing fixed term contracts.

Trevor French, Devon and Somerset Fire Brigades Union secretary, said: "Rather than just accept these enormous cuts forced upon us by central government, the fire authority, along with Lee Howell, should tell the Coalition Government that this scale of cuts is unacceptable, risks destroying the fabric of this important service and ultimately puts lives at risk."

Bob Walker, FBU brigade chairman, said: "If the proposed cuts go through, there will be fewer firefighters, fewer fire stations and fewer fire engines.

"After the recent floods and fires firefighters have dealt with so profesionally, the cuts would be a real kick in the teeth for both the public and the service."

Comments (3)

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12:18pm Fri 18 Jan 13

confusedconfucious says...

how about cutting the number of appliances and men that seem to respond automatically to RTC's? Time and time again you see on their web that a combination of at least 3 have been dispatched - to what often turns out to be a single vehicle - then find that they need only to 'make safe'. I know it is better safe than sorry in a lot of cases because of the potential risks of explosion but it does often seem to be a very expensive excercise ....
how about cutting the number of appliances and men that seem to respond automatically to RTC's? Time and time again you see on their web that a combination of at least 3 have been dispatched - to what often turns out to be a single vehicle - then find that they need only to 'make safe'. I know it is better safe than sorry in a lot of cases because of the potential risks of explosion but it does often seem to be a very expensive excercise .... confusedconfucious

7:59pm Sat 19 Jan 13

Blue Owl says...

It's been on the cards for a while, Unfortunatly the front line services get cut, whilst the Gold Braid Officer Class, get Super Salaries, and even better Pensions, maybe the savings should start there.
Then , we must'nt forget the waste, whilst the Firemen and Women on the Watch, are no longer allowed to do Gym training on Shift. To keep their physical fitness.
But, what about the £ Millions that were wasted on the New Central HQ, now no longer required.
Real waste, how much more is there we are not told of.
I know quite a few of our local Fire Brigade firefighters, everyone of them are on duty to deal with whatever they are asked to, despite the risks.
Regards Blue-Owl
It's been on the cards for a while, Unfortunatly the front line services get cut, whilst the Gold Braid Officer Class, get Super Salaries, and even better Pensions, maybe the savings should start there. Then , we must'nt forget the waste, whilst the Firemen and Women on the Watch, are no longer allowed to do Gym training on Shift. To keep their physical fitness. But, what about the £ Millions that were wasted on the New Central HQ, now no longer required. Real waste, how much more is there we are not told of. I know quite a few of our local Fire Brigade firefighters, everyone of them are on duty to deal with whatever they are asked to, despite the risks. Regards Blue-Owl Blue Owl

1:18pm Thu 24 Jan 13

FreeSpeech? says...

Same old story of getting rid of some of the Indians whilst keeping the same number or even increasing the amount of Chiefs.
Same old story of getting rid of some of the Indians whilst keeping the same number or even increasing the amount of Chiefs. FreeSpeech?

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