The Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service is the latest to announce more cuts to staffing. Between 250 and 280 firefighters jobs are expected to go by 2020 – as austerity continues to bite.
The £14.6million efficiency plan, said by one source to be equivalent to a 20% budget reduction. This will also mean fewer appliances.
Cuts came despite a planned 1.99% increase in council tax revenues for the service, which will provide £800,000.
Hundreds of Firefighters will be gone
Fire Brigades Union claims that the metropolis will be “left with just over 1000 firefighters which is less than half of what they had 10 years ago when the city was served by 2200.” We wonder if having less than half of the firefighters will slow down response times.
Gary Keary, secretary of the FBU in Greater Manchester, said:,“This is terrible news for firefighters and the public alike. Nationally, response times to emergency incidents are at their slowest in 20 years.
“Last year, Greater Manchester saw an increase in fires, deaths and injuries – a tragic trend that continues. Now is the time to be investing in this vital service, not cutting it.
“We urge the service and local politicians to think again about these drastic frontline cuts that will undoubtedly lead to lives being lost.”
This is devastating news for Manchester as it’s community will definitely notice the difference when the cut of firefighters takes place. If the trend of increasing fires, deaths and injuries does continue then the community will be greatly effected.