Plymouth firefighters will not rule out strike action
FIRE fighters could strike in protest at plans to cut the fire service.
The Fire Brigade's Union are meeting with members over the coming weeks to come up with a plan of action.
It comes in the wake of an announcement proposing savage cuts to stations throughout the city.
If they are pushed through, the plans could mean cuts to services in Plymstock, Plympton, Crownhill and Camels Head.
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Bob Walker, chair of the FBU, said: "I'm not going to rule out strike action.
"Obviously it's not top of our agenda but it is certainly an option.
"We need to engage with our membership and see if they can come up with a solution.
"Then we will come up with a plan and decide which way to take our campaign."
Government cuts have resulted in £5.5 million black hole in the Devon and Somerset budget over the next two years.
Twelve money saving options are set to go out for public consultation following a meeting next Friday .
The FBU will make a presentation at the public meeting to be held at the force's headquarters at 10am.
We reported yesterday Plymstock and Plympton could be left with only retained crews – which take up to seven and half minutes longer to respond to an emergency.
In addition Camels Head could lose one of their two whole time crews in favour of on-call fire fighters.
And the aerial ladder unit based at Crownhill would be reduced to a retained service.
Crownhill would still have one whole time crew, as well as one other on call team.
The actual fire engines will still remain in service.
Mr Walker added: "After the recent floods and fires firefighters have dealt with so professionally, the cuts would be a real kick in the teeth for both the public and the service.
"The FBU is asking people in our communities to stand up against damaging proposals for the fire and rescue service before it is too late."
Cllr Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council said: "I'm stunned and shocked at the announcement that fire cover could be cut in Plymouth. I'm also disappointed that we were not informed about the scale of the cuts being considered. I can assure the people of Plymouth we will be making the strongest possible representations against these proposals."