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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Cumbria cuts ‘playing with lives’ claims fire union leader

A FIRE union chief has attacked plans to cut the number of engines and crews in Cumbria at a time when flooding call-outs are rocketing.

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

As part of a review to bring council spending under control, the authority has proposed moving a fire crew from Barrow to Ulverston – leaving one crew based permanently in Barrow – and closing Dalton station.

Ulverston would lose one of its two retained fire engines and six of its on-call firefighters.

Cumbria County Council says it must save £80m over the next three years, on top of the £88m made in the past three.

Speaking out after south and west Cumbria 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.”

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

Only. Matter of time until Dave Burn is proven right.
Hope it's not your property that's on fire lord elpuss and you don't have to learn one of life's very valuable lessons.

Posted by Martin on 13 January 2014 at 19:13

Perhaps they should consider joining the RNLI if they are attending more floods than fires.
Would be interesting to see how many fires the brigade attended throughout Cumbria last year.

Posted by lord elpuss on 13 January 2014 at 17:54

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