I was a firefighter in Nottinghamshire from 1966 to 1990 and during those years the brigade was scrutinised each year by HMI Inspectors to ensure that standards of fire cover were being met.
Two main areas of the inspection was to make certain that all incidents were attended in the required time with adequate crew members.
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To give an example, legislation stated that a house fire in Mansfield should be attended by two appliances, the first to reach the fire in five minutes with a crew of five and the second in eight minutes with a crew of four.
These standards were set in the 1950s after taking into consideration the minimum requirements to meet efficiency and safety levels.
To reduce fire cover can only result in a reduction in these levels.
All emergencies need to be attended as quickly as possible with enough crew members, appliances and equipment.
Any reduction will only put the public and firefighters lives in danger and result in the loss of property, in my opinion.
The emergency services should not be treated as a business where statistics are used to measure losses and profits, they are as their names imply, a service which will always be needed.
I urge everyone to voice their opinions against the cuts in any way that they can, to protect firefighters with the back up necessary giving them a better chance to save life and property.
Calls may be down at the moment but the next could be to you.
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