Fire service faces cuts

Devon and Somerset fire service is losing 17% of its government grant over the next two years, meaning it has to find £5.5 million worth of savings. It's led to concerns that lives will be put at risk.

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Fire service tackles hoax calls

by John Andrews

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue service has made savings by halving the number of hoax calls it attends. It's a result of campaigns in schools and high profile convictions.

They were having to respond to more than four hoax calls a week, putting lives at risk and wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds.

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Row over future of fire service in Devon & Somerset

A war of words has broken out over the future of the fire service across Devon and Somerset.

On the one hand, the Fire Brigades Union says lives will be put at risk if some full time firefighters are replaced with part time ones.

On the other, fire service managers say they have no choice but to make the cuts, because of a loss of Government funding.

Jeff Welch reports now on today's developments at a meeting in Clyst St George.

Fire Brigades Union urges public to protest against cuts

Rather than just accept these enormous cuts forced upon us by central government, the fire authority along with chief fire officer Lee Howell should tell the coalition government that this scale of cuts is unacceptable, risks destroying the fabric of this important service, and ultimately puts more lives at risk.

– Trevor French, Devon and Somerset FBU secretary

If the cuts proposed go through, there will be fewer firefighters, fewer fire stations and fewer fire engines. After the recent floods and fires firefighters have dealt with so professionally, the cuts would be a real kick in the teeth for both the public and the service. The FBU is asking people in our communities to stand up against damaging proposals for the fire and rescue service before it is too late.

– Bob Walker, FBU brigade chair

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Devon and Somerset firefighters' jobs to go in £5.5m cuts

Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service announced £5.5m cuts today Credit: Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service

Front line firefighters in Devon and Somerset could be cut as part of £5.5 million of savings at the fire authority.

The government grant being given to Devon and Somerset Fire Service is being cut by more than 10% this year and a further 7.3% next year.

It's the third worst grant settlement to a fire authority in the country.

Firefighters were told about the proposed cuts this morning.

Fire Service to announce savings plan

Fire engines
Cuts are being made due to a reduction in government grants Credit: ITV Westcountry

Devon and Somerset Fire Service is planning to save £3.4 million in the next financial year.

They also want to save another £2 million the year after that. They're having to make the cuts because of a reduction in their government grant. The details of the savings plan will be announced this morning.