Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

April 01, 2011 05:59 ET

Fire Cuts Could Put Lives in Danger

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - April 1, 2011) - The safety of the public and firefighters could be put in danger due to the proposed cuts to the frontline fire and rescue service in the West Midlands.

West Midlands fire and rescue service will implement changes on 4 April that will cut up to 96 frontline firefighters in the area. This will mean that some fire stations in the West Midlands will have their frontline numbers cut and still have to staff the same number of fire engines and specialist rescue vehicles.

Currently all fire engines have a minimum number of firefighters to safely deal with a number of incidents. The cuts will mean that there will be less fully staffed fire engines. There could be a delay until more fire engines and firefighters arrive from other fire stations further away, before they can safely deal with a house or high rise flat fire or road traffic collision.

The cuts could also see specialist rescue vehicles taking longer to arrive at incidents, such as rescues from water, major road traffic collisions and rescues from high rise buildings.

Fire Brigades Union brigade secretary Andy Dennis said: "The public will see a major change to the level of service they receive, they will see the numbers of frontline firefighters cut as of next Monday. The public need to realise that they may have to wait longer for a fire engine with the right number of firefighters to arrive to put a fire out in their homes, this is a real postcode lottery. The safety of firefighters could be at risk because they will also have to wait longer until more fire engines and firefighters arrive. So much for the government promise of no cuts to frontline services."

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