Unions warn fire stations could close

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

UNION leaders for the fire brigade have warned that fire stations are at risk of closure if spending cuts go ahead.

North Yorkshire could be one of those areas that would stand to lose at least one station if the Government goes ahead with funding cuts in George Osborne’s budget statement on Wednesday (December 5), warns the Fire Brigades Union.

It says 70 stations could close.

The worst-hit brigades would be in big cities, but station closures are also threatened in Berkshire, Hertfordshire, North Yorkshire, Kent and Dorset, said the FBU.

Officials also reported that scores more fire stations are faced with downgrading, with fewer appliances and firefighters.

Last week a report by the Rural Services Network showed that the funding formula for fire stations was already putting people in rural areas at risk by allocating them roughly two-thirds less than metropolitan ones.

Leading fire officers in North Yorkshire and County Durham said they already have higher costs than urban forces as its population is spread out over a wider area and so more stations are needed.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary said: “People rely on having a fire station near where they live, so that in the event of any emergency, professionally trained and well-equipped firefighters will come to their aid.

“The cuts have now gone so far that dozens of fire stations are threatened with closure, an unprecedented development in the recent history of our fire service.”

He added: “Firefighters have excelled again in recent weeks, dealing with floods as well as fires and all manner of emergencies.

"That’s what people expect from their fire and rescue service and firefighters are very proud to deliver an exceptional level of service. But this government is cutting the service to the point where they are putting lives at risk.”

Comments (4)

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5:02pm Sun 2 Dec 12

loonyleft says...

never mind people can be reassured about all the money saved while they are burning to death.
never mind people can be reassured about all the money saved while they are burning to death. loonyleft
  • Score: 0

9:46pm Sun 2 Dec 12

spragger says...

Oh, the communist Wrack and the FBU are scaremongering again ..
Most firestations are only 20% occupied, with the other 80% of time spent sleeping

We need more retained firemen and less expensive full time ones

Or even better, a proper Emergency Services, rather than all these under occupied ones
Oh, the communist Wrack and the FBU are scaremongering again .. Most firestations are only 20% occupied, with the other 80% of time spent sleeping We need more retained firemen and less expensive full time ones Or even better, a proper Emergency Services, rather than all these under occupied ones spragger
  • Score: 0

8:29am Mon 3 Dec 12

loonyleft says...

yes spragger another group of workers that are "lazy",you are just the sort of person that deserve to be caught in a blaze with no firemen available to help you,still it will save on your heating bills and your cremation!!!
yes spragger another group of workers that are "lazy",you are just the sort of person that deserve to be caught in a blaze with no firemen available to help you,still it will save on your heating bills and your cremation!!! loonyleft
  • Score: 0

10:47am Mon 3 Dec 12

stevegg says...

The government have culled the police with 20% cuts and now its the fire brigades turn. Ambulance service cuts are also on the horizon. I do believe there is more scope for full time fire fighters to do more work in the community as many (and I know few) have second jobs as they can go a whole set of shifts without being called out at all. They should remain on call as a prioity but be sent to mundane jobs which the overstretched and over abused police have to deal with such as rounding up loose animals on the roads etc.
The government have culled the police with 20% cuts and now its the fire brigades turn. Ambulance service cuts are also on the horizon. I do believe there is more scope for full time fire fighters to do more work in the community as many (and I know few) have second jobs as they can go a whole set of shifts without being called out at all. They should remain on call as a prioity but be sent to mundane jobs which the overstretched and over abused police have to deal with such as rounding up loose animals on the roads etc. stevegg
  • Score: 0

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