South Scotland

Warning over Dumfries and Galloway fire brigade cuts

Fire engine
Image caption No decision on the fire service proposals will be taken until meetings next month

Fire chiefs have warned cost-cutting proposals tabled in Dumfries and Galloway could increase the risk of death and injuries.

Two fire appliances could be taken out of service under plans to cut spending by about £700,000 next year.

Ten savings proposals have been identified which would see the loss of up to 27 retained fire fighters.

The council has stressed no final decision will be made on cuts until meetings of the authority next month.

The Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue Service has identified a number of savings proposals to go before the authority next week.

The bulk of the possible staff reductions are linked to an option to reduce the number of two-pump stations in the region.

The proposal would see Newton Stewart and Annan both lose one appliance each.

In his report Chief Fire Officer Colin Scott said the move would have less impact than closing a single-pump station, but warned that it would heighten the risk of fire-related deaths and injuries.

Other savings options include only mobilising crews when fire is confirmed, reducing the number of home safety visits to target only those at most risk and cutting pre-arranged overtime.

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