Portsmouth fire and rescue cover restructure a matter of '˜life or death'

FRESH fears were raised over the proposed re-structure of Portsmouth's fire and rescue cover.

Hampshire Fire Brigade Union warned proposals to scale back jobs and reduce the size of fire engines would put people’s lives in jeopardy – and the proposals are purely based on ‘computer modelling’.

It came after Lib Dem campaigner Tom Wood presented a petition signed by more than 1,500 people against the potential cuts.

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Southsea fire station’s crew could go from 20 to 16 and its three fire engines be replaced with an enhanced vehicle, intermediate vehicle and a first response vehicle. Cosham could see one of its two fire engines swapped for a smaller vehicle. A consultation has now ended over the plans.

FBU member Mark Chapman said: ‘These proposals are based upon nothing more than concepts, computer modelling and new technology not yet tried or tested in a real-world environment within Hampshire.’

Mr Wood said: ‘The people of this city do not think these changes will keep them safe.’

He said waiting for fire cover to come from outside the city could mean the difference between ‘life or death’. But the Tory administration said it had ‘no control’ over the final decision made.