Budget cuts fear for SY fire service

FIRE chiefs in South Yorkshire have warned stations could close if the Government imposes ‘unfair’ budget cuts later in the year.

Chief Fire Officer Jamie Courtney spoke out after South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue released performance figures for the last year - which revealed a reduction in emergency incidents dealt with by crews.

Firefighters dealt with 618 accidental property fires compared to 647 the previous year and the number of road traffic collisions attended by firefighters fell to an all-time low of 387. Arson attacks were also down to 6,125, compared to 15,463 in 2003/04.

But Mr Courtney warned: “I am genuinely concerned that if the cuts fall unfairly on services like South Yorkshire again, the result will be the closure of fire stations and longer response times.”