Firefighters face severe cutbacks

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The Independent Online

Hundreds of firefighters' jobs are threatened, fire stations will close and engines be taken out of service because of the Government's spending cuts, a trade union warned today.

It accused the Prime Minister of breaking a pre-election pledge that frontline fire services would not be cut.

The union said many fire authorities in England faced a cut in their central grant of at least 9 per cent in the coming year and 12 per cent over two years.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: "David Cameron went to two fire stations during the election and promised that frontline fire services would have been protected. His government has announced that it is to break that promise, without even so much as an apology.

"When you cut fire services, you place people in danger, because if there are fewer firefighters or fire stations or fire engines, we will not be able to get to an emergency quite as fast.

"In our work, every second counts. Sooner or later, if what the government has just announced is not reversed, someone will die whom we could otherwise have saved."