FBU: NE couldn't properly deal with another Grenfell

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in the North East claims fire-fighters here wouldn't be able to properly respond to a disaster like Grenfell - because of a lack of resources.

It says lives could be at risk across Tyneside & Wearside - areas with the highest concentration of tower blocks.

The FBU says a reduction in front-line staff has left specialist high-rise engines without permanent crews.

This abandoned tower block is being used for training by fire-fighters.

But it's exactly the kind of high rise the FBU insists would be at greater risk because of cuts to resources.

It claims there aren't enough fire-fighters to permanently man the specialist engines needed for high-rise emergencies.

That means crews have to swap vehicles - which wastes precious time - especially if they're already far from base on another call.

The FBU says Tyne & Wear Fire Service has lost 155 front-line fire-fighters since 2010.

It blames that reduction solely on government budget cuts.

It says after the death of at least 80 people in the Grenfell tower fire, this is a frustrating - and disappointing - situation.

The government maintains that safety - and a well funded fire service - is a priority, despite necessary reforms.

The findings by the FBU have been sent to the national HQ in London for further scrutiny.