Further funding reductions to fire and rescue services could put public safety at risk and led to cuts in the number of fire fighters, new research has revealed.
A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) found that while there have been no financial failures yet as a result of cuts, further reductions could compromise the service's capacity to respond to major incidents.
The two reports into the financial sustainability of fire and rescue services and the impact of funding reductions to the authorities showed further savings could only be made by cutting fire fighter numbers.
Head of the NAO Amyas Morse said: 'I would expect the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to have a better understanding of the appropriate funding level necessary to support services, in order to maintain the financial sustainability of the sector in the context of funding cuts.'
However, the DCLG said they were 'disappointed' that the report didn't recognise the excellent work of fire and rescue authorities in reducing fire deaths and incidents by around half over the last decade.
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