Concern as figures show 149 fewer firefighters in Cambridgeshire than a decade ago

New figures obtained by The Fire Brigades Union show that there are 149 fewer firefighters in Cambridgeshire now than in 2010.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 4:54 am
Figures show a significant drop in the number of firefighters in Cambridgeshire in the last decade.

The union have issued a stark warning that the fire service may not be able to dea with every incident after figures were obtained by a freedom of information request showed that one in five firefighter roles which existed in 2010 no longer exist now.

On a national level, the figures show a fall of in employees of 11,680, more than 8000 of those wholetime firefighters, since 2010.

Over just the last year, there has been a decrease of 185 in the number of firefighters.

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In Cambridgeshire, the figures show that 149 firefighters have been lost over the last decade. This represents a significant cut, although not as bad as nearby county Essex, who have lost 336 in that time. London and West Yorkshire are the two worst hit areas, losing 1112 and 615 firefighters in that time respectively.

After years of huge government cuts and staffing falls there is a real threat that fire and rescue services may not be able to deal with every incident, and fight all fires: for example, we have heard senior service managers state that the public should lower their expectations that large wildfires can be tackled. The cuts are weakening the day-to-day work of the fire and rescue service in every single area; they are making people less safe. They also pose a threat to the ability to respond to large scale incidents - particularly if more than one were to occur at the same time.

The figures were released ahead of Home Secretary Priti Patel’s speech to the Conservative party conference on Tuesday (October 5).

Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said: “After years of huge government cuts and staffing falls there is a real threat that fire and rescue services may not be able to deal with every incident, and fight all fires: for example, we have heard senior service managers state that the public should lower their expectations that large wildfires can be tackled.

“The cuts are weakening the day-to-day work of the fire and rescue service in every single area; they are making people less safe. They also pose a threat to the ability to respond to large scale incidents - particularly if more than one were to occur at the same time.

“Households deserve to feel protected. We all want to be able to walk past fire stations and know that there are enough people in there to protect us and firefighters will always do whatever they can to save lives. It’s time the government does the same.”

“Households deserve to feel protected. We all want to be able to walk past fire stations and know that there are enough people in there to protect us and firefighters will always do whatever they can to save lives. It’s time the government does the same.”