Plight of fire service under cuts

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Claire Baker has criticised the SNP Government for failing to take action on cuts to Fife Fire and Rescue Service that fire fighters say could compromise safety.

Fife’s branch of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has warned that budget cuts could mean 20 fewer fire fighters in the Kingdom. Fife Fire Service already operates a ‘four and four’ personnel system for house fire callouts which is below the nationally accepted safe minimum initial attendance of four fire fighters on one fire engine and five on the second appliance.

The FBU wants the Scottish Government to come forward with ‘transitional funding’ for Fife Fire Service ahead of a planned merger to a single Scottish service.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Claire Baker, said: “Fire fighters are warning that Fife Fire and Rescue Service will be unable to function at the same level unless steps are taken to protect it. I take these safety concerns very seriously. That’s why I’ve given fire fighters a voice in the Scottish Parliament by raising their fears with ministers.”

Fife Council plans to cut £793,000 (4.5%) from the Fife Fire and Rescue Service budget in 2012/13, £600,000 of that figure equates to a reduction of 20 fire fighter posts, said the MSP.