Safety warning as 1,000 fire jobs axed

More than 1,000 firefighters' jobs have been axed under the Government's "savage" spending cuts, with fresh losses in the pipeline, the service's main trade union says today.

One in 10 jobs could go in the next three years, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said. More than 1,000 jobs were lost in the year to April, with hardest-hit areas including Scotland, the South-west, Yorkshire and the West Midlands, it said.

The FBU gave warning that the fire service would reach "breaking point" dealing with widespread incidents such as flooding. Its general secretary, Matt Wrack, said: "Fewer fire crews means it will take longer for the fire engine to arrive in response to a 999 call. There will be ever-increasing risk to life, homes and businesses... as the cuts bite harder year after year."