By Connie Osborne Thursday 17 October 2013 Updated: 18/10 07:47
A PETITION has been launched to stop proposals to cut fire services across the county.
The online petition was created by Chris Edwards following the announcement Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service plan to save £4.7 million over the next three years.
Under the proposed cuts Redditch Fire Station could lose one of the two on-call engines as well as six on-call firefighters, while Hereford and Worcester stations could lose a full-time crew and 44 jobs could be axed across both.
A second proposal would see one on-call engine removed from Bromyard, Ledbury and Tenbury Wells while a third option would shut Bewdley and Broadway, with further closures or removal of engines across the border in Herefordshire.
The 24-year-old said it was ‘totally unacceptable’ to cut front-line emergency services.
“There is talk of closing fire stations and cutting engines and I think it’s very extreme. The options they are looking at are ridiculous. We’ve got to show them people across Worcestershire and Herefordshire don’t want it.”
Nearly 1,000 residents have already signed the Stop Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service Budget Cuts petition, with Mr Edwards aiming to reach 50,000 by the end of December before the consultation period closes on January 10, next year.
John Hodges, assistant chief fire officer for HWFS, said: “The Service is well aware some online groups and petitions had been formed over recent days and completely understand community concerns over potential changes to their fire cover, which is why we are undertaking such an extensive consultation process, with all our key stakeholders, between now and the New Year.”
Visit www.hwfire.org.uk/consultation to complete the questionnaire and www.ipetitions.com/petition/stophwfirecuts to sing the petition.
* FIREFIGHTERS across Worcestershire and Warwickshire go on strike again tomorrow (Saturday) between 6.30pm and 11.30pm.
The latest walkout is part of the ongoing dispute between The Fire Brigades Union and the Government over proposed pension changes, which could see firefighters have to work until they are 60 before they are eligible.
Emergency call handlers and support staff will work as normal but although fire cover will be provided calls will be prioritised on their urgency and the public are being urged to take extra care during the strike.
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