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Felixstowe: MP preparing for battle over fire cuts

11:17 04 October 2012

Firefighters have rescued a dog at Alton Water near Ipswich

Firefighters have rescued a dog at Alton Water near Ipswich

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MP Therese Coffey today branded proposals for further cuts to Felixstowe’s full-time firefighters as a “step too far”.

Dr Coffey said she would be campaigning against the move to reduce the number of full-time officers on duty to four, which at times means there will not be enough officers to answer a 999 call.

“I am disappointed with these further proposals as it will leave Felixstowe without the necessary resilience to deal with emergencies,” said the Suffolk Coastal MP.

“It is clear that it is something we will have to campaign on again.

“Fire service delivery in Suffolk has the lowest cost per head than anywhere else in the country and whilst I recognise that there is still enormous pressure to trim budgets this is a step too far.

“I still have my Ipswich Star Save Felixstowe Fire Crews campaign car sticker from last time and I am prepared to go into battle again.

“I will be speaking with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and the county council to see what can be done.”

Last year full-time cover was reduced from seven days a week to five.

While the latest proposals say there would be a maximum of four full-time officers on duty Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm, there may be only two or three available depending on leave and other commitments.

If an emergency came in, those on duty may have to wait for on-call firefighters to arrive as four officers are needed to man an appliance.

Fire chiefs say the town has 21 on-call officers, including three new officers available to cover during the day, and are confident there would be adequate cover.

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