Wiltshire's fire service plans 'vague', FBU says

Proposals for the future running of Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service have been criticised as lacking detail by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

The service is hoping to save £1.4m by 2014 by relocating full-time officers to staff three new hub stations.

Chief fire officer Simon Routh-Jones said the service wanted to "utilise" its "professional fighters far better".

But Brent Thorley, from the FBU, said although it was "accepting the change" the lack of detail was a "problem".

As part of the reorganisation, the service is planning to transfer some of its 215 full-time officers to areas of the county currently reliant on part-time cover.

While stations in Devizes, Marlborough and Amesbury, which are not routinely staffed, will become fire and rescue hubs for the surrounding area.

'More detail'

"We're looking at having to reduce the size of the organisation but with no station closures, no fire engines out of commission and no compulsory redundancies," said Mr Routh-Jones.

"We've got firefighters sitting in shift stations at Salisbury and Swindon and day crews at Trowbridge and Westbury and what I want to do is make sure that we can utilise them far better to make the community safe."

A 12-week public consultation was carried out last year, but Mr Thorley said the union was looking for "more detail".

"We're actually accepting the change," he said.

"We understand the pressure's being put on our principal officers from government financially and we know we're going to have to make changes to fit with the new finances.

"But we want them [fire service bosses] to put something solid down on the table and put their names to it and we will work with them and make this happen."

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