Cuts means firefighter shortages leaves emergency engines unstaffed
A shortage of trained firefighters in East Sussex means fire engines are unavailable to attend emergencies in the county, according to the FBU.
And cuts to frontline services are leaving towns and villages with no fire cover, relying on neighbouring stations and firefighters who have to travel long times and distances to attend any emergency.
The union says the cuts are putting lives at risk, and has accused fire chiefs of breaking agreed policies to make up for short term crewing deficiencies.
An FBU spokesperson said: “During recent months whole time appliances have not been available for emergency incidents due to lack of crewing or fully trained personnel being available.
“We have repeatedly raised our concerns that cutting firefighter jobs and having fewer engines available will delay intervention, putting public lives at risk and putting firefighters at greater risk when dealing with the emergency.
“It seems apparent to us that senior managers and the fire authority are comfortable with this situation.
“Over the last years deaths due to fire have significantly risen within East Sussex and any further cuts will lead to further deaths and injuries.
“Social deprivation and fire go hand in hand and therefore the most vulnerable in our society, including the elderly, children and lowest paid will be put at the greatest risk if these further cuts go ahead.”
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