Firefighters warned lives will be lost as they pledged to step up their campaign against budget cuts in Fife.
Fire Brigades Union Scottish Secretary John McKenzie said: “The level of risk for everybody in Fife will go up as a result of reducing resources.
“The impact is pretty stark. It’s people’s lives.”
Mr McKenzie was addressing a public meeting in Dunfermline on Wednesday night.
It was the first of several events planned across Fife following the announcement appliance numbers will be cut at Dunfermline, Methil and Glenrothes fire stations at the start of September.
Kirkcaldy fire station is also losing its height appliance.
Fife firefighters to join mass rally against cuts
Mr McKenzie added: “The consequences are people losing their lives who otherwise wouldn’t have, people losing properties who otherwise wouldn’t have.
“This will impact you, your family and your friends.”
Fife firefighters will join a mass rally of FBU members in Glasgow on Thursday as the campaign against cuts goes national.
Fife is the area most impacted by the move, aimed at saving £11 million this financial year.
However, Dundee and Perth will also lose appliances along with other stations elsewhere in Scotland.
‘Come together and fight for services’
Labour MSP Alex Rowley, who called Wednesday’s meeting, said he was absolutely horrified.
And he is to meet with Scottish Government community safety minister Siobhian Brown early next month to discuss the issue.
He said: “My party will be tabling this for debate in parliament.
“I’m delighted firefighters have been out in the streets across Fife campaigning.
“We really need to raise this campaign across Fife.
“No matter what your politics are or how you see the future of Scotland, come together and fight to ensure these services remain intact.”
Fire stations could close
Almost 6,000 people have now signed petitions against the Fife fire service cuts.
The fire service must find £36m in savings over the next four years and has warned “significant and permanent change is coming”.
This could include the closure of fire stations.
Assistant fire chief David Farries has said the cuts were based on activity levels, risk and demand.
And he is content communities will not be at increased risk thanks to the ability to bring in extra resources from other areas.
The FBU has called on Holyrood to provide further investment to protect the service.
However, the Scottish Government says it has invested £368 million this year, an increase of £14.4m, and there are more firefighters in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK.