Firefighters lobby MPs over cuts

PUBLISHED: 16:00 17 November 2010

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SOUTH West firefighters were set to converge on Westminster to lobby MPs and protest against proposed cuts to services in the area yesterday (Wed).

Staff from Avon and Somerset and Devon and Somerset group were due to join thousands of colleagues from the length and breadth of the country.

The Fire Brigades Union South West says many proposals are being hurriedly prepared and will see ‘corners being cut’ in standards of fire and rescue services and will mean those who dial 999 ‘will have to wait longer for more thinly stretched fire crews to come to their rescue, but will carry on paying the same for the service’.

A spokesman said: “This will put the lives of the public and the safety of firefighters at increased risk.

“It will also increase the cost of fire losses, increasing insurance premiums and could leave businesses unable to recover, further exacerbating the loss of jobs.”

“We know that social depravation caused by recession goes hand in hand with increased risks of fire and we will not stand back whilst the poorest and most vulnerable in our society are compromised by these cuts.

“Cuts cost lives, it is a simple as that but it seems those who are in favour of these cuts are those least likely to need the fire and rescue service.”

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