Northamptonshire council to review fire service response times to save money

Fire engine Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Northamptonshire County Council is reviewing the county's fire service, including its attendance times

More time could be allowed for Northamptonshire fire engines to reach incidents to cut costs, it has emerged.

Northamptonshire County Council says it is to review "its basic standards of service" and will look at "extending attendance times" for appliances.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said the proposals were "dangerous" and could put the public at "greater risk".

Andre Gonzalez de Savage, the council's member for public protection, said fire services faced financial challenges.

He said some talk about the review of of the service had led to "mischief".

'Greater risk'

The council's own proposals mention "reducing the service provided in order to remain within the tight budget envelope", which could include "extending attendance times".

Under the fire service's Standards of Operational Response, crews should respond to primary fires within eight minutes and other incidents in which there is no risk to life within 15 minutes.

Mr Gonzalez de Savage said attendance times for the first fire engine arriving at a fire "would remain the system".

The council has not stated which attendance times would form part of the review.

Gary Mitchell, regional secretary of the FBU, criticised the council for its handling of the planned review, and said: "To take longer to arrive in the future will put residents and my members at greater risk."

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