Gloucestershire Fire Brigades' Union fear more than one in eight front-line firefighters will be lost in plans to reshape the county's Fire Service despite it being one of the best value for money crews in the country.

FBU secretary Mike Tully said: "Front-line crews are being targeted for cuts which will directly impact on our ability to respond to 999 emergencies," he said.

"The change to the way these vehicles are crewed will mean we cannot guarantee they will be immediately available when they are needed."

Gloucestershire Fire Authority will meet on February 1 to discuss the new risk management plans they say are necessary to save £1.3 million over the next three years.

Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall has defended the plans saying they are "about making improvements and changing the way we work to adapt to today's risks not about cutting the service or cutting firefighters."

It comes just days after research from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy showed Gloucestershire residents pay £34.03 per person per year compared as high as £42.37 in neighbouring counties.

Posted 24/01/2012 by