A public consultation has begun into proposed cuts into the fire service

Suffolk fire service on duty in Sudbury. Credit: ITV Anglia

Leaders of the Fire Brigade's Union say they are concerned that proposed cuts to the service could put people's lives at risk. County Councils across our region need to save millions of pounds and are putting forward plans to reduce the number of appliances.

"The only reason we can walk into burning buildings, burning blocks of flats is because we have certain systems of work and certain policies laid down that we have to do before we walk in. These cuts mean we will have to wait that much longer before these resources are there to enable us to do our job and rescue people from burning buildings. Maybe ten or fifteen minutes longer"

Andy Viscoe, Suffolk FBU

Current plans involve losing seven appliances from Suffolk and 13 from Norfolk although fire bosses say the public would not notice the difference.

"We've currently got 35 fire stations and 47 fire engines across the county against a backdrop of reducing level of 999 calls. I can assure the public they will have a very good fire service in the future, who are very well equipped, driving good quality vehicles with good quality equipment to help them deal with those 999 emergencies"

Mark Hardingham, Chief Fire Officer, Suffolk

The public consultation is open until the new year and for your say in the proposed cuts you can visit your local County Council website.