Cuts to Brentwood fire service approved

FIRE chiefs gave the green light to plans to reduce the number of full time firefighters in Brentwood last week.

Essex Fire Authority chiefs approved the proposal to reduce the number of crews at Brentwood Fire Station, North Road, from two full crews to one full time and one retained crew.

The change, part of the authority’s budget for the next four years, will take place within the next two.

Chief fire officer David Johnson said: “We are pleased that our recommendations have all been accepted by the Essex Fire Authority and now the work begins to implement these changes.”

He said they had already made �3.3m of county-wide savings and had identified a further �1.6m from support services before cutting frontline services.

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He added: “With staff costs making up three-quarters of the budget, reducing firefighter posts is one of the primary moves we can make to cut costs.

“It may mean fewer firefighters in establishment terms but it is relatively straightforward and will allow us to deliver our commitment to staff and ensure we do not compromise the level of protection we deliver to the public.”

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