FBU warns that cuts are undermining fire services

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) have warned that budget cuts are beginning to slowly undermine the effectiveness of fire services in England and Wales.

Despite the government assuring that fire services have sufficient resources, a BBC Radio 5live investigation has revealed that response times in some regions have worsened this year, which is ‘putting lives at risk’.

The investigation suggests that austerity cuts under the Conservative government have resulted in 3,382 fewer fire fighters, station closures and some appliances being taken off the road.

Furthermore, National Audit Office figures have complimented this suggestion, showing that fire services' budgets in England have been cut by 17 per cent since 2010.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, said: "There is very long-standing evidence that the longer it takes to get to incidents, the more likely people are injured or killed.

"The fact that we are taking longer to get to incidents means there are people being injured or killed who would otherwise not have been."

The 5Live Investigates freedom of information request found that 17 of the 27 fire brigades which responded to the request had seen a further deterioration in response times to house fires.

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