Latest government review is another attempt to run fire services as cheap as possible
I HAVE been associated with the fire service for four decades, in both formal position on Cambridgeshire fire authority until earlier this month and a long-life admirer of their work.
However, I am drawn to the ultimate conclusion that the latest so-called review by the government’s fire adviser is yet another in a long line of attempts by all governments to dismantle the service by whatever means it can and ultimately run it as cheap as it can get away with.
All fire services like Cambridgeshire have examined where they might reasonably make sensible savings on backroom services and procurement of equipment including fire appliances.
But they don’t consider sacking a few more thousand wholetime firefighters and rely on a benevolent community to provide all those armies of retained firefighters which you would still need to provide a service which keeps staff and the public safe.
For decades the fire service has struggled in most communities in Cambridgeshire to ensure sufficient folk are available to answer the call – and this in a predominantly rural county.
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I urge the government to stop, reflect and think long and hard before taking any decision which put cash before lives.
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Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority