Fears over impact of ‘drastic’ changes

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A FIREFIGHTER has warned ‘drastic’ changes to a retained fire station could put lives at risk.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has put forward proposals to save £12.2m over the next four years – losing more than 200 firefighter posts.

Emsworth could lose four firefighters from its crew of 16, saving some £28,000.

Proposals also include removing its fire engine
and replacing it with a smaller vehicle crewed by a minimum of two firefighters.

A member of station, who asked not to be named, said there would ‘undoubtedly be an increased risk to the public and to firefighters’.

He said changes to Emsworth station created concern because it dealt with incidents across Westbourne, Chidham, Southbourne, Nutbourne, Funtington and Bosham.

‘This is about a risk to the firefighters I serve with. This is a Hampshire fire station so West Sussex hasn’t been taken into consideration. Because Emsworth is on the border, most of its calls are to West Sussex.’