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The Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has announced plans to remove 130 firefighters and six fire engines from its brigade.
The service says it must make £8 million of savings and has no choice but to cut from the front line.
Chief Fire Officer Tom Capeling, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said:
Tom Capeling, Chief Fire Officer at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue, has been voicing his concerns during a briefing at the Brigade Headquarters.
Earlier, he said: "Any reduction in fire engines will make us slower."
The Tyne and Wear Fire Service has announced that it must lose one firefighter in every five in order to meet £8 million of Government savings over the next three years.
It could also mean the closure of some fire stations.
Tom Capeling, Chief Fire Officer at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue, said:
The number of firefighters in Tyne and Wear is to be cut by 20%. The fire authority has announced 3 options for cuts to the service, all involve 131 job losses, one in five firefighters.
Amongst the plans up for consultation are closures of Sunderland central fire station, Wallsend and Gosforth community fire stations, the removal of six fire appliances and reducing the number of aerial platforms from three to two.
The authority's budget is being cut by £13.6 million from 2012 to 2017.