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London Fire Brigade cuts will put lives at risk, Fire Brigade Union says
LIVES will be at risk if plans to slash £64.8m from the London Fire Brigade budget over the next two years get the go ahead.
This is the view of the Bromley branch of the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) in response to a leaked document which outlines proposals to close fire stations and slash around 600 jobs.
Seventeen stations across London have been earmarked for closure in this round of cuts, with the nearest to Bromley being the one in Reigate Road, Downham.
Bromley’s FBU representative Ed Thompson says this will impact on the fire cover available for the borough.
And he is worried stations which have escaped the chop this time could be axed next year.
Mr Thompson said: “If firefighters turn up to a fire and there are people in a building then they will rescue them but if they do not have the back-up then that puts them in greater risk.
“More firefighters and members of the public will be at risk and may die because of these cuts.
“These cuts will indirectly affect Bromley because if they reduce the cover the crews will have to come from further away.”
He added: “If they make cuts those firefighters that are left have to do the same job with fewer resources.
“It is very demoralising for the workforce.”
A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: “Like virtually every other public service, the Brigade is facing the need to make savings.
“There is a target for these savings but the full details will not be known until at least December, when the Government announces its grant to the Brigade.
“We expect to be able to maintain our current target response times.
“No decisions about any possible fire station closures have yet been taken.
“Before they are, there will be a full public consultation.”
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