Avon Fire rescue helicopter idea attacked by union

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The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has criticised Avon Fire and Rescue Service for pursuing a deal for a rescue helicopter, only to put it on hold.

The service has been considering the scheme since 2010, and put it out to tender for companies to bid for, but is now seeking other options.

The FBU opposed the idea, saying it would be at the expense of front-line services which should be protected.

It said time and money had been wasted on pursuing a "pie-in-the-sky scheme".

Regional Secretary Phil Jordan said: "We would like to see the whole idea scrapped, not just put on hold. We don't see it as being any benefit to the taxpayer at all. In fact we see it as a total waste of money."

Avon Fire and Rescue said the project was not going ahead while it considered a variety of schemes put forward by the government.

These could involve a pooling of resources in which the fire service may be able to use another emergency services helicopter.

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