Public consulted over fire service plans in Wiltshire

The public are being consulted over plans on the future running of Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Chief Fire Officer Simon Routh-Jones said the service faced a period of "real change" to meet government demand and the public's expectation.

Among the proposals being considered are changes to the shift system and paying retained firefighters a salary rather than a call-out rate.

The 12-week consultation comes ahead of planned £1.8m cuts, to be made by 2014.

'Maintain effectiveness'

Mr Routh-Jones said he was also looking to ways of using crews more effectively with firefighters attached to a community rather than a station.

"This is the start of the consultation period," he said. "We have until the end of May to discuss the proposals in a lot more detail with our staff, and we will also listen to the views of our local communities.

"We need to find a way of working more efficiently without losing our effectiveness, and I believe these proposals achieve that."

The Fire Brigades Union said it had criticised the plans along with proposals to change working shift patterns for full-time firefighters.

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