11:19AM, Thursday 13 June 2019
The number of fire and rescue vehicles in the county has dropped by a quarter in the past five years, writes local democracy reporter Alex Seabrook.
Figures from a Freedom of Information Request show that in 2018 there were 55 ‘red fleet’ vehicles compared to 74 in 2013.
The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) counts red fleet vehicles as frontline engines, specialist vehicles like aerial ladder platforms, reserve fire engines and fire engines used for training.
RBFRS has maintained 21 frontline fire engines since 2014.
RBFRS’s settlement funding has decreased from £12.4million to £10million over the past three years.
Cllr Paul Gittings (Lab, Reading council), opposition leader on the fire authority, said: “If we felt there was a shortage, that would be a concern.”
A RBFRS spokeswoman said: "We continue to invest in our fleet in collaboration with the three Thames Valley fire and rescue services.
"In 2017/18, seven new fire engines were welcomed into service. A remaining eight fire engines will be in service by spring 2020.
"There continues to be no impact to the front line services we deliver to the people of Royal Berkshire."
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