Frontline fire service jobs could be axed under £4m Humberside cuts
DOZENS of frontline roles could be lost as Humberside Fire and Rescue Service makes savings of up to £4m in the next three years.
A further 48 staff posts could be axed across the service, which has already reduced staff numbers by 72 in the past two years.
Chief fire officer Richard Hannigan hopes no compulsory redundancies will be needed and the majority of the reductions will come through not replacing staff who retire.
He has vowed not to let the cuts affect call-out times and has said they will continue to work on improving response times.
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He said: "The figures of frontline staff are not approved yet.
"I think we should look at the positive picture. We continue to improve call-out times and efficiency.
"We will not be compromising the standard of our service."
He said the fire service knew the cuts were coming and was prepared.
"We've not recruited frontline staff for six years now," he said.
"Our staff have been excellent and continue to be excellent during these difficult times. They are flexible but will need to be even more flexible in the future."
At the Humberside Fire Authority meeting, Mr Hannigan said the 300 retained firefighters in the region will be safe. A review is under way with regards to the support staff, although they have a very small team.
At the meeting at the Hessle headquarters, the fire authority expressed concern over proposals of further cuts in 2015-16.
Mr Hannigan said a figure of 8 per cent was being proposed, although he would be lobbying against this.
He said: "8 per cent is the figure that has been proposed but that is not certain.
"I'm not confident we would be able to maintain our response times with these cuts.
"Further cuts would not be sustainable."
A report entitled Financial Outlook 2013-14 Onwards, produced by the service's director of finance Kevin Wilson, can be viewed online at www.humber sidefire.gov.uk