Firefighters today protested a "dangerous" reduction to fire crews in Cambridgeshire, at the official opening of Huntingdon Fire Station and Service Training Centre. 

The FBU Cambridgeshire said that firefighters in the region have continued to raise serious concerns regarding a new policy, trialled since January, which has seen Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) cut the number of on-call firefighters attending incidents in Cambridgeshire to three per crew.  

A minimum number of five firefighters is needed to respond to incidents where lives are at risk. A fire engine with only three firefighters on board will be forced to wait for back-up to arrive so that they can properly, and safely, respond to life-threatening incidents.  

Firefighters say they could face a "terrible decision": wait outside a burning building, or risk their jobs and lives by going in.  

Mark Harriss, FBU Cambridgeshire brigade secretary, said: “Today, Cambridgeshire firefighters are making it clear that we won’t quietly accept public and firefighter safety being put at risk.

“A crew of three firefighters is not equipped to safely enter a burning building. No fire service should be putting their firefighters in this dangerous position. 

“New fire stations and fire engines are useless without firefighters. We have lost around 12,000 firefighter posts in the UK since 2010.

“We need urgent investment and recruitment instead of firefighters’ lives being put on the line in this way. Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service must start listening and end this dangerous policy now.”