Fire service budget to be slashed by £2.2 million

North Yorkshire's fire service is facing cuts to its spending power.
North Yorkshire's fire service is facing cuts to its spending power.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is facing cuts to its spending power of £2.2 million by 2015.

There are fears the government cuts will affect frontline services, following two years of budget slashing that have already seen firefighters lose their jobs and stations close across Yorkshire.

Fire services stand to lose a total £18.5 million in funding across the county, and campaigners are leading calls to change the decision to slash budgets, before lives are put in danger.

Paul Smith, regional secretary of the Fire Brigades Union said: “The cuts that have already happened mean fire engines don’t get to incidents as fast as they used to and everyone knows that time is the most important thing.
“The quicker we can get to someone the more chance we have of saving them.”

Mr Smith believes firefighters lives will be at risk as they will feel morally obliged to put themselves in danger as they wait for back-up to arrive at serious incidents.

He explained: “If you pull up at a burning house and hear kids crying ‘get me out’, it is going to be very difficult to stand and wait and you yourself will become vulnerable just for doing your job.

“We have to ask: Is it an accident waiting to happen? And if it does happen who is going to stand up and take the blame for it?”

The cuts have been estimated from figures released in the latest local government funding settlement, revealed by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles earlier this week.