Page last updated at 20:27 GMT, Friday, 19 December 2008

Twelve firefighter positions cut

Twelve firefighter jobs have been cut by Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.

One job will go from each watch at Redditch, Bromsgrove and Kidderminster stations, making savings of 420,000 for the service.

Chief fire officer Paul Hayden said the cuts were needed after the service received a disappointing budget settlement from the government.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said it was "devastated" at the news.

Paul Hope, of the FBU, said that currently fire engines were crewed by five firefighters.

The cuts meant that almost half the time there could be less than five firefighters on board, he said.

"My reaction is of devastation and concern for my colleagues and for the public.

"We are now at the brink of deciding whether we provide the public with a proper service that they pay for or an adhoc service," he said.

But Mr Hayden said the job cuts would not put the public or other firefighters at risk.

Action plan

The cuts were part of an action plan put forward by the service on Friday.

Other proposals include streamlining office services to save 200,000 and making an investment of 100,000 to cover costs to release staff for training.

The service is also to review its arrangements over managing issues which take firefighters away from their posts, such as leave, training and sickness.

Mr Hayden said: "We know we have to become even more efficient following our disappointing central government budget settlement this year and our proposals identified ways in which we can make savings."

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SEE ALSO
Plans to reduce firefighter posts
17 Dec 08 |  Hereford/Worcs

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