Fire service chiefs must scrap cuts to Fife stations and start again - comment

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The Scottish Fire & Rescue Service needs to scrap its plans to make cuts at Fife fire stations, and start again.

No-one likes making cuts or losing services, but it is clear the service is running head first into a brick wall with its plans for Fife.

The gulf between the ‘deep data dive’ explanation behind the thinking - what on earth does that even mean? - and the very raw reaction from councillors, and now firefighters, is impossible to square.

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The service cannot ignore the fact there is now very real concern over the wisdom of the move to remove the height appliance vehicle from Kirkcaldy, and rely on cover from Dunfermline, while fire crews in Glenerothers are now demonstrating at cuts to their station.

Kirkcaldy Fire StationKirkcaldy Fire Station
Kirkcaldy Fire Station

It seems inconceivable that a town the size of Kirkcaldy should be left without a height appliance. Why is it the Lang Toun seems to so often bear the brunt of decisions taken from afar?

The town has a number of high rise buildings, so there are very understandable concerns over the safety of the people who live and work in them. The onus is on the fire service to explain how there will be no diminution of cover - and how it will manage a very different response time getting its equipment from Dunfermline.

The fire service must lay all its data on the table for the politicians - and the public - to study and critique – and it must detail why Fife is being disproportionately hit. If it cannot provide satisfactory explanations, it must go back to the drawing board and start again.