Proposals for the most radical shake-up in the history of the London Fire Brigade could result in the loss of 1,000 jobs and the closure of up to 30 fire stations.
According to reports in the Evening Standard, Brigade chiefs have drawn up a series of cost-cutting options to meet Boris Johnson's demands for £65 million worth of savings over the next two years.
Stations under threat are reported to include Heathrow, Richmond and Kingston in a move that would also result in a 17.5% drop in the number of fire engines on the capital's streets.
However, the Fire Brigades Union has raised concerns that with firefighters in five London boroughs already failing to meet attendance times for 999 calls, more lives would be put at risk by further cuts.
An FBU spokesman said: "Clearly the idea of basing decisions on risk has gone out of the window and they are going to cut their cloth according to their budget.
"It's going to have major implications for safety. Already five boroughs don't hit their attendance times for the first vehicle, and five don't hit them for the second vehicle. What they're proposing is slashing a service that has already been cut back over the last few years."
Those stations likely to be closed were identified in LFB's report as deal with less than one emergency call-out a day, with Biggin Hill was named as the quietest station in the capital on an average of 110 calls a year.
A fire brigade spokesman told the Standard: "Like virtually every other public service, the brigade is facing the need to make savings. The Mayor has given a target for these savings, and we are considering our response to this. All options are being considered but no decisions have yet been made."
Posted 26/09/2012 by firstname.lastname@example.org