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Cornwall's Fire Service Could Face a Merger

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 3:44pm 13th September 2013 (Updated 4:01pm 13th September 2013)

The cuts could force Cornwall to share a fire brigade with Devon and Somerset.

Cornwall Council is deciding whether to investigate the idea.

It would only happen if the Duchy's service has to make more than 2.25 million pounds worth of savings.

Reacting to news that Cornwall Council is considering merging Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, South West Fire Brigades Union Secretary, Phil Jordan, said: "Bigger is not always better, and firefighters believe a merger would threaten public safety in Cornwall.

"A merger would mean Cornwall would lose control of its Fire and Rescue service and decisions about its operation would be handed to a Fire Authority covering three counties.

"It would almost certainly lead to further losses of funding from central government, a loss of fire control in Cornwall which would lead to the loss of local knowledge when responding to fires, which can be the difference between life and death."

Earlier this year, Avon Fire and Rescue Authority considered and rejected a merger with Devon and Somerset, which has just made big cutbacks.

In 2010, the government's plans to 'regionalise' fire control centres were scrapped after an estimated £500 million loss.

The plans would have seen local emergency fire control rooms close and replaced with one regional call centre.

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