Controversial proposals to close Staines fire station will almost double the amount of time it takes for firefighters to respond to emergencies in the Stanwell area.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) say response times are currently under five minutes but this could slow to a nine minute wait as firefighters would be mobilised from Feltham in south west London.
The next nearest crews would come from either Egham or Sunbury, both within Surrey, which would take 12 and 13 minutes respectively.
This would lengthen the amount of time it takes fire crews to get to the scene of an emergency by up to seven and eight minutes.
The FBU warns that the slower response time could mean the difference between life and death.
Simon Hall, the FBU rep at Feltham fire station, said the situation was shocking. “This is a totally unacceptable level of service being considered ”, he said.
“If fire crews are busy at Feltham then you’re looking at a nearly quarter hour wait for assistance.
“It would increase the level of risk to people living and working in Stanwell.
"The local MP Kwasi Kwarteng and councillors alike should reject these dangerous proposals and demand a better service for their constituents.”
A campaign run by the FBU is currently underway to save the fire station. Richard Jones, secretary of the FBU in the South East, said: “Staines is the busiest station in the whole of Surrey.
"The threat to axe it shows poor judgement and a total disregard of how important it is that fire crews respond to emergencies as quickly as possible.
“Without Staines, the speed at which we can respond to an emergency incident, and the number of fire engines we can get to the scene within an effective timescale, will be severely worsened.
"If Staines is closed then lives that could have been saved, will be lost.”