Hundreds of firefighter jobs are at risk after Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service revealed a £14.6m ‘efficiency plan’, which the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) say will risk the safety of the public and firefighters.
The plan to cut 253 firefighters’ posts over the next four years will mean the number of fire engines available to respond to emergencies will fall, the service has admitted. The 20% cut will mean Greater Manchester will be left with just over 1,000 firefighters which is less than half of what they had 10 years ago when the city was served by 2,200 firefighters.
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.”