THE Fire Brigade Union (FBU) says it will fight plans to cut 40 full-time firefighter posts and reduce fire engine crews from five personnel to four.

The FBU Avon Fire Authority have branded the proposals approved by Avon Fire Authority last week as "dangerous and irresponsible".

The recommendations passed by vote are the result of Avon Fire and Rescue Service commissioning a project seeking to make budget cuts.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: "If implemented these cuts will put lives at risk, and the Fire Brigades Union will fiercely resist them.

"Slashing the number of firefighters in Avon will push an overstretched service to breaking point.

READ MORE: Avon Fire Authority vote through firefighter job cuts.

“It is absurd for Simon Shilton (Chief Fire Officer and chief executive) to argue that these cuts are the result of last year’s pay award.

"No other fire authority is making cuts of this kind using this excuse.

"Mr Shilton and Avon Fire Authority need to take responsibility for this situation and step back from the brink."

Mr Wrack added: “Earlier this year, our members won a reversal of millions of pounds worth of cuts in Nottingham. It can be done.

“Firefighters have the determination and resolve to protect their communities daily.

"We will fight this austerity every step of the way.”

Dave Roberts, FBU South West regional secretary, said: “Avon Fire Authority has voted to put cost-cutting before public and firefighter safety.

"Our firefighters are already working under immense pressure to save lives and homes. Instead of the investment our service urgently needs, we now face further swingeing cuts.

“Firefighters across the region are furious at this shameful decision.

"The residents of Avon have the right to a fire service that is equipped to keep them safe.

"We will do everything in our power to fight these dangerous cuts.”