‘Cuts will put lives at risk’

CUTS to Sudbury’s fire fighting equipment will “greatly increase the damage” caused in the event of large fires in the area, according to a crew member.

A 9,000-litre water tanker was moved from Sudbury fire station to replace its broken counterpart at Leiston fire station on Tuesday. The move comes almost exactly a year since the reopening of Sudbury’s station after a £1.4million upgrade.

A member of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, who asked not to be named, said: “The tanker is broken because Suffolk Fire and Rescue hasn’t bothered to replace a 23-year-old fire engine. Sudbury’s water tanker will not be replaced.

“This will greatly increase the risk to local farmers in the event of a thatch fire, field fire or barn fire,” he added.

“The next nearest water tanker to certain parts of the county will be up to 40 minutes away, by which time it is likely the lack of water at an incident could greatly increase the damage to people’s lives and property.”

He claimed that hundreds of thousands of pounds had been spent on three bays for the Sudbury station, one of which will now sit empty.

“All that tax payers money has been wasted,” said the crew member.

For the full story see this week’s Free Press.