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Monday, 25 May 2015

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Firefighters turn up the heat as deadline nears

WITH only days to go, local firefighters are continuing to rally against proposed county council cuts which could see their crews halved.

Making views known: Andrew Bragg signs the petition with firefighter Kevin Connolly looking on

Cumbria County Council is aiming to save £500,000 by slashing fire crews in Whitehaven, Workington and across the county. Consultations ends next Monday.

However, firefighters hope the public will back them warning that crews are already struggling to cope with stretched resources.

Dave Burn, chairman of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), has warned the proposals to remove fire engines and firefighters is “playing with people’s lives”.

Speaking after Copeland was hit by storms which resulted in severe flooding, Mr Burn said if there had been fewer engines and crews available, the outcome could have been disastrous.

He said: “At times of severe flooding such as we have seen recently and with fewer firefighters and fire engines being available to respond to multiple areas, there will inevitably be significant delays and, even worse, no response as calls are filtered and prioritised.

“How is this providing a good deal and a better service to the great people of Cumbria? It is playing with people’s lives.”

More than 1,000 people have already signed a petition against planned fire cuts in the Workington area, after protestors took to the town streets, last weekend.

Kevin Connolly, the FBU representative for Workington, said: “We took the petition out with us on Saturday and everyone who went past us signed it. Nobody refused.

“But what concerns me is that some people still don’t seem to be aware of what’s being proposed. We need to spread the word even further so people understand what’s at stake here.’’

A Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “By targeting resources at prevention activity, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, has brought about a 34 per cent reduction in the number of incidents across the county in the last six years. As a result we’re currently consulting on proposals for shaping the service to the dangers that actually exist.”

Have your say

I am sure that a lot of people don't know about the proposed cuts to Vital frontline services. I came across this last month while browsing my local paper. There has been little in the press about these cuts in Cumbria, I would also like to know why our representitves at CCC have not come out and joined the fight. I went to a meeting tonight regarding the closure of Dalton in Furness, although invited not one of them deemed it important enough to attend.

Posted by June on 17 January 2014 at 23:52

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