Hampshire fire chiefs are proposing to cut jobs in the county’s Fire and Rescue Service over the next few years.
The proposals come in a report to be discussed by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority next week.
New technology like an advanced high pressure water jet that can cut through steel is part of the new fire-fighting equipment that will be introduced across the 51 stations in Hampshire. This technology means that there could be fewer firefighters needed.
Plans are to lose up to 60 full time posts, though there will be no enforced redundancies and no stations in Hampshire will be closing.
Eastleigh Fire Station will continue to maintain 36 immediate response fire fighters while Botley and Hamble will each be staffed by 8 full time equivalent posts, saving £24,000 each.
The plans will also see traditional four-manned appliances replaced by two-man vans which would be deployed to smaller incidents.
Nigel McCullen, chair of the Hampshire Fire Brigade Union warned yesterday
“We are now cutting down to the bone whereby public safety will be compromised.”
But Dave Curry, Chief Officer of Hampshire Fire and Rescue said he is very proud of Hampshire’s Fire and Rescue Service, and although it could be suggested that new technology is a way to “get rid of firefighters” he said that he wants “the most effective Fire and Rescue Service for Hampshire.”
The proposals will be decided on next week.