The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) yesterday raised its concerns about the impact of fire and rescue service funding cuts on the safety of local communities.
Vij Randeniya, President of the CFOA and Chief Fire Officer of West Midlands Fire Service, said, "Fire and Rescue Services across the UK are facing the toughest challenge in their history as budgets are slashed. Financial pressures are impacting upon the ability of the service to keep our communities safe and protect businesses."
In their publication, Fighting Fires or Firefighting: The Impact of Austerity on English Fire and Rescue Services, the CFOA spells out the fire and rescue service contribution to a safe, healthy and prosperous society and highlights how that extensive contribution is now at risk.
The CFOA President added "We recognise the need for all public services to contribute to the reduction of the national deficit but fire and rescue needs some protection to reflect its vital contribution to national resilience and the safety and wellbeing of local communities. CFOA has put forward a series of proposals to government which would allow services greater flexibility to make efficiencies in future whilst maintaining the provision of the resilience and security that government and the public expect."
The report can be found on the CFOA website