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Chief Fire Officers insist they will cope with strike

Chief Fire Officers across the West Country insist their services will be able to respond to emergencies when firefighters go on strike tomorrow. But they warn response times could be slower.

The Fire Brigades Union has called a four hour strike starting at midday. Its members are unhappy about proposed changes to their retirement age and pension contributions. Duncan Sleightholme reports.

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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 service cuts consultation extended

Proposals for cuts to Devon and Somerset fire service include 150 less firemen and smaller engines.
Proposals for cuts to Devon and Somerset fire service include 150 less firemen and smaller engines. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A public consultation on cuts to Devon and Somerset fire and rescue service has been extended until the end of this week.

The service needs to save more than £5 million over the next two years. The proposals include cutting 150 frontline firefighters, manning some fire stations part-time and using more cheaper fire engines.

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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

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.

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