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Cornwall's Sea Firefighting Team Scrapped

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6:12pm 15th December 2011

The team that tackles fires at sea off Cornwall and Devon loses its funding.

From January, the government will not pay for the Maritime Incident Response Group.

Cornwall Council says that means it will be scrapped.

Mervyn Kettle is a retired Duchy firefighter: "If all of a sudden, the DfT and MCA are consideirng ending the MIRG, and if there's no significant impact, why on earth did we do all that work? Why on earth did we spend almost three and a half million pounds of taxpayers money to put it in place? I think it's a very dangerous situation."

Lance Kennedy is in charge of Community Safety and Public Protection at Cornwall Council.

In a statement, he said: "Any deployment between now and the end of January will be a decision of the Chief Fire Officer following a full risk evaluation. This will include the availability of a suitable vessel for use as a stable working platform following the withdrawal of the Emergency Towing Vessel.

"Unfortunately, following consultation with the Chief Fire Officer and discussions of this issue at Fire Commission meetings, we have been forced to decide that, unless alternative funding arrangements are put in place by the Department of Transport or DCLG, we will be unable to continue the MIRG service as of January 2012."

6:12pm 15th December 2011

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