Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has warned there could be dire consequences if planned cuts to the Fire and Rescue Service go ahead.
“Sinn Féin has been in contact with representatives of the Fire and Rescue Service who have expressed concern at plans to significantly cut the organisation’s budget.
“In particular they have warned about the impact of plans to cut the budget by up to 15 per cent in one financial year and for this to be completed as soon as possible.
“The Fire and Rescue Service has indicated that it is committed to restructuring but believe it would be more suitable if it was carried out over a three-year period.
“The Fire and Rescue carry out invaluable work in keeping communities safe, particularly at this time of year. The impact of this plan could have dire consequences to the service they provide.
“It could result in redundancies, the closure of fire stations and the removal of fire appliances.
“Sinn Féin is calling on the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety to engage with the Fire and Rescue Service to work out a sensible and appropriate plan for restructuring instead of attempting to force them into this situation.”