Today, Wednesday, 13th December, Avon firefighters are rallying outside a fire authority meeting in Bristol, protesting cuts to 40 firefighter posts and a 'dangerous' reduction to fire engine crews. 

In October, Avon Fire Authority voted through proposals to cut 40 wholetime (full time) firefighter posts and reduce fire engine crews from 5 firefighters to 4 across the service. 

The latest report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found Avon fire service “inadequate” at responding to fires and other emergencies.

Firefighters have requested permission to address one of the meeting’s sessions with a joint letter from the Avon FBU Brigade committee calling for a stop to the cuts. 

The Fire Brigades Union has condemned the cuts as ‘dangerous and irresponsible’. 

Dave Roberts, FBU South West regional secretary said:  “Avon’s fire and rescue service is in a state of emergency. The service has been declared inadequate at responding to fires. This is the appalling impact of austerity. Meanwhile, the fire authority has announced cuts to 40 full time firefighters. 

“Our firefighters are working under immense pressure without the resources they need. These brutal cuts will only make the crisis worse. Public and firefighter safety is on the line. Avon fire authority must reverse their disastrous decision to cut the service to the bone.”