Fire cuts are dangerous

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IN reply to Paul Radford’s letter (Express, November 1), there is no wonder he finds it difficult to comprehend the Fire Brigade Union’s (FBU) stance regarding the new fire station at South Kirkby - he simply does not know the facts.

The fire brigade has been subject to years of cuts starting with Tony Blair’s government when John Prescott’s department started the ball rolling.

In fact, the cuts have been so drastic that the fire cover in our area today is less than when I joined the fire service in 1964, and it’s going to get lower still.

The FBU is not opposed to the new station being built but they are concerned about what the cover will be when the new station is commissioned.

The fire authority will slash the cover to one fire engine to cover what is now both South Elmsall and Hemsworth areas, but that is not all. This one engine will also be expected to cover areas of North and South Yorkshire under existing agreements with these other fire authorities.

What the FBU and myself are worried about is if the South Kirkby engine is out on a call and another incident occurs where will the cover come from? The next nearest stations are Pontefract, Featherstone and Normanton.

I should not have to spell it out but these stations are all 15 to 20 minutes away and in my opinion that is too long.

Well, Mr Radford you asked us to think about it. Well, I have and ask you to withdraw your statement about the FBU being arrogant and naive. You should be backing the FBU’s campaign to get better and safer cover in this area.

Barry Owen

Minsthorpe Lane

South Elmsall