'Lives at risk' in Corby fire cover 'downgrading' claim

Downgrading a town's fire cover could put lives at risk, a county councillor has said.

One of a pair of fully-equipped four-man fire engines covering Corby has been replaced with a two-man water cannon.

Labour councillor John McGhee said two properly-crewed engines were needed in a town of its size.

But the Conservative council said the cannons were safer as they enabled firefighting from outside buildings.

Mr McGhee said the replacement "Cobra" units could not be used at heights in house or building fires. And he said the high-pressure system could not be used to tackle fires in vehicle crashes.

"Downgrading cover could put people's lives at risk in Corby, its economic livelihood in its businesses and the firefighters themselves," he said.

However, the council said that the cannons could blast holes in walls and knock down doors, allowing firefighters to tackle flames without having to enter a building.

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