Plans to cut the number of full-time firefighters serving a growing town and to replace them with retained staff are being challenged by a union.
Norfolk County Council is being asked to cut the number of firefighters in Thetford from 11 to eight.
The council then plans to recruit more retained members who are part-timers called out when there is an emergency.
The Fire Brigades Union is challenging the plan, first proposed six years ago, saying it will hit morale.
Neil Day, the FBU's Norfolk secretary, believes the step will have a detrimental effect on long-term recruitment to the fire service.
"Management have missed a chance to improve recruitment and boost staff retention," he said.