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Fears Over Fires at Sea

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7:01am 11th April 2012

Untrained workers could be scrambled to tackle blazes off the Cornish coast.

Cornwall's top fire officer is making the warning, amid growing calls to bring back the Maritime Incident Response Group. The team which specialised in fighting fires aboard ships was closed down last month as part of government cuts.

Chief Fire Officer Des Tidbury has raised concerns about how fires on board ships at sea will now be tackled. He said, “Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service does not have a statutory responsibility to respond to fires and other emergency incidents on vessels at sea and as funding has now been cut, we are now unable to support this area of work.

“Now, rather than sending trained and equipped firefighters to deal with fires at sea, the Department for Transport plan on sending risk assessors who are not trained or equipped to do the job.”

7:01am 11th April 2012

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