Fire fighters to live at station as job losses and funding cuts bite

UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR

Plans have been drawn up to build a £1million accommodation block for firefighters on 24 hour shifts as part of cost-saving measures.

Rainton Bridge Fire Station is to lose 16 firefighters as Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service looks to save £8million in the face of Government cuts.

A total of 131 posts will go as the service trims £5million from its frontline budget.

A new 24-hour shift pattern has been introduced at Rainton Bridge with crews staying in a purpose-built block while on call.

Officers who did not sign up to the new shift pattern have moved to other stations, but will not be replaced when they leave.

The shift pattern is expected to save £500,000 a year and the Houghton station was chosen because it has the lowest number of call outs.

Firefighters were called out 1,447 times in the last three years compared to 4,055 for

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