FIREFIGHTERS are calling for the Government to offer assurances on staff numbers following the Glasgow School of Art fire and Clutha bar tragedy.

Officials from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) warn the standard of service witnessed during these incidents could be diminished if the number of fire personnel drops as a result of a £12m budget cut.

The FBU wants to see the number of firefighters locked to at least 4,000 to ensure appropriate coverage for Scotland '24/7'.

Loading article content

FBU Scottish Secretary, John Duffy said the fire service should be given the same assurances as Police Scotland, who received a guarantee that officer numbers would not fall below 17,234.

He said: "The purpose of the move to a single service was to protect the front line.

"The FBU believes that while the front line has seen significant changes it is still capable of providing the kind of response seen in recent incidents.

"But that will be ­jeopardised without an agreed uniformed establishment similar to that provided for the police.

"Given the current ­political discussions in Scotland, the FBU calls on all parties in the independence debate to commit to support an agreed establishment level for firefighters."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "The FBU is currently engaged with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in agreeing a suitable establishment level for uniform fire fighter numbers."

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: "Our aim of protecting front-line service remains at the forefront of our developing plans."