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    The Chief Fire Officer’s claim that Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service will be “smarter, more efficient and more effective” is simply unsubstantiated spin.

    A crew of four firefighters on a proper fire engine can take effective action at all incidents. Disposing of two thirds of those is certainly not smarter. The replacement vehicles will carry less water, equipment and firefighters, and will not be able to take effective action at all incidents. Crucially, with just two firefighters, they will not be able to rescue anyone in immediate danger. Hardly more effective!

    The public and Councillors have been misled with exaggerated claims about so called new technology. The technology is not new and will only be an improvement for specific fires, which represents a very small percentage of incidents attended. They have also been denied the full facts about the workload of each station, with many incidents being excluded from the figures provided.

    The claimed future response times are simply a fraud. Current response times relate to a proper fire engine with a crew of at least four. The projected times claimed are not only speculative, but they relate to a less effective small vehicle with only two firefighters on board. Four firefighters need to arrive before effective action can be taken at many incidents, but in future the extra firefighters may be travelling from the next town. The actual time for an effective crew of four firefighters to arrive will therefore increase significantly.

    No Mr Curry, your plans will not make the service smarter, and it will inevitably be less efficient and less effective.

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