‘Serious concern at fire service cuts’ - Sheehan
Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Pat Sheehan has raised serious concerns at planned cuts to fire and rescue services here.
He was commenting after the service announced plans to cut crews in a number of areas to deal with budgetary pressures.
"It is deeply concerning that service crews in a number of towns across the north will move from full-time to part-time,” Pat Sheehan said.
"Plans for other areas to move from part-time to full-time crews are also likely to be shelved as part of these cuts.
"There could also be implications not only for the fire service’s ability to react to emergency calls - which increased by 5.6% in 2018/19 - but also to vital fire inspection work by moving personnel to fill the gaps created.
"Ultimately this could put public safety and the safety of fire-fighters at risk.
"The Department of Health with responsibility for funding the fire and rescue service must engage meaningfully with the service and with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).
"Sinn Féin will also meet with representatives from the FBU to discuss in full the potential implications of these cuts."