North Yorkshire Fire Service considers restructuring plans

More volunteers could be taken on to work with full time crews under new proposals Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service have announced it is considering reducing the number of fire engines available to respond in under five minutes and increasing the number of volunteer firefighters.

The brigade says the plans are just a "restructuring of the service" but unions claim they are a "reduction in frontline services".

Currently 46 fire engines are available for immediate response, which must reach an emergency in under five minutes. Under the proposals that number will drop to 27. The rest would be set slower response times.

Crews would also be mixture of full time and part time firefighters. The service hopes to increase the number of volunteer firefighters as well.

The brigade says while this will save about £1 million a year it is not a cost cutting exercise.

They added that number of calls they've received in recent years has dropped by 30 per cent, and these changes would make better use of resources.

The Fire Brigades Union says that if the proposals went ahead cover in North Yorkshire would not be as robust as it is now.