The Fire Brigades Union has today condemned fire authority plans to cut the number of fire engines and on-call firefighters across Hereford and Worcester.

On Tuesday, the fire authority discussed a proposal to remove 8 fire engines across the region, downgrade fire cover in Wyre Forest, and axe 45 on call firefighters. 

Firefighters have warned that reducing fire engines by 20%, from 41 to 33, will put the public and firefighters at serious risk.

A public consultation on the proposals is now scheduled to open in January.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary said:

“Residents of Hereford and Worcester deserve a fire service equipped to keep them safe. We now have fewer fire engines, stations and firefighters than ten years ago, after a decade of brutal austerity.

“Further cuts will threaten to push the service past breaking point.

“The Fire Brigades Union stands against any cuts that risk public and firefighter safety. Hereford and Worcester fire authority must listen to the frontline and withdraw these dangerous proposals.”

Neil Bevan, FBU Hereford and Worcester brigade secretary said:

“These proposed cuts present a serious threat to public and firefighter safety. Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is already stretched dangerously thin. Response times have hit a ten year high due to lack of resources. Meanwhile, we continue to respond to high numbers of flooding incidents year on year.

“The fire authority should be investing in the service, but instead they are proposing cutting it to the bone. Firefighters will not sit back and allow homes and lives to be put on the line. We will fight to save our service.”