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Posted July 13, 2011 EST

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Union Says Fire Service Is Facing Savage Cuts
Savage cuts will be made to the fire service with as many as one in ten fire-fighters losing their jobs, a union has warned. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) claims that so far over 1,000 firefighter posts have been axed in the first round of public sector spending cuts. It says one of the hardest hit regions in the first round of cuts includes the West Midlands.

But the brigade has said despite massive reductions in its budget, it has no immediate plans to make any firefighters redundant.

The FBU said its research had found that because of cuts to central Government grants to fire authorities, over the next three years 6,000 firefighter posts will be axed.

Fewer firefighters will mean it will take longer to get to a fire or other emergency, which will mean a risk to life and more property damage, the union says.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: "We're over-stretched now, and frontline crews are making it clear we'll be at breaking point when the cuts really bite over the next two years. The simple fact is that cuts cost lives."

A spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service said: "We are considering a number of proposals which may affect our future operating models - including the potential for redundancies.

"At this stage there are no plans to issue any formal announcement regarding redundancies."

(c) 2011 Evening Mail; Birmingham (UK). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

Written by Evening Mail

Courtesy of YellowBrix - YellowBrix