Surrey CometKingston could lose a fire engine (From Surrey Comet)

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Kingston could lose a fire engine

Surrey Comet: Kingston could lose a fire engine Kingston could lose a fire engine

One of Kingston's fire engines could be removed under cost-cutting draft proposals.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) is seeking to find £65m in savings over the next two years, with options drawn up including several areas that would see stations closed and engines in south west London lost.

Those plans include several scenarios where Kingston is reduced from a two-appliance station to just one.

Two options also earmark closing Twickenham fire station.

The loss of a fire engine would see Kingston's response time rise in most options beyond the six minute mark, according to the proposals.

The current average reponse time is five minutes and 56 seconds.

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority said the traditional view of London and the work of the fire brigade was “out of date”, and that improved engineering and fire safety meant many stations and appliances were being underused.

Ron Dobson, commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said: "Like virtually every other public service, the brigade needs to make savings, but the full extent of those savings is not yet known and therefore there are currently no proposals being made.

"Having spent 33 years as a firefighter serving the capital during events including the bombing of Canary Wharf, the July 7 terrorist attacks and last summer’s civil disturbances, I will not propose anything that would put the lives of Londoners, or firefighters, at risk.

“It is important that the debate about the future of London’s fire service is based upon facts about the actual amount of savings the Brigade needs to make and the proposals that will be published once this is known.

"Ongoing reports of individual stations closing are nothing but unfounded, sensationalised scare stories."

What do you think? Email newsdesk@surreycomet.co.uk or call 020 8744 4255.

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