A series of money saving cuts to Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service have been given the green light. It will mean the loss of 131 front line posts, a reduction of 6 engines, the closure of 3 stations in Sunderland, Gosforth and Wallsend.
Firefighters have been tackling a large blaze in a takeaway in County Durham. The fire broke out in the Elite buildings on Front Street in Stanley on Monday . Several roads have been closed to traffic and a police cordon put in place. Thick smoke has been seen for many miles.
Chief Fire Officer Tom Capeling, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said:
"Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is one of the best and fastest fire and rescue services in the country. In developing these options our objective has been to maintain our quick response to incidents where lives are at risk and where there is significant risk to property. However to do this we need to change the way we operate and will be slower in attending other incidents, such as deliberate secondary fires and false alarms. We will also take into account the different types of risk the community faces and this is different over a 24 hour period."
"There is no doubt that we have had to carry out these reviews against the back drop of significant funding cuts. However safety is our number one priority. I have always said that dealing with the level of cuts we have received will be challenging and will affect our frontline service, however we will do this in a way which minimises the risk to the community. We believe that after carrying out a thorough review these options will enable us to do this. I would encourage local residents to take part in our consultation and we would welcome your views."
– Chief Fire Officer Tom Capeling, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service