Dundee firefighters are to demonstrate against “catastrophic” fire service cuts during a noisy city centre protest on Monday.
And they have put out a “call to arms”, urging colleagues from other areas to join them during the City Square action.
They say the temporary removal of a number of appliances at 10 fire stations across Scotland will affect response times and put firefighters and the community at risk.
In Dundee, the Kingsway East station will lose its second appliance, leaving it with just one.
Meanwhile, the third appliance will be removed from Perth Community fire station, leaving it with two.
Fife is also hit by the cuts, with four fire stations in the region affected from September 4.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service says the move will help it plug an £11 million budget gap.
However, the announcement has prompted safety fears across Tayside and Fife.
Dundee and Perth fire crew numbers will reduce
Monday’s noon protest follows a demonstration by Fife firefighters in Glenrothes on Thursday.
Simon Leroux, the Fire Brigade Union’s north area secretary, said: “The removal of an appliance in Dundee could have a catastrophic effect on all other stations in the surrounding area.
Fife firefighters making their voices heard as they protest against fire appliance cuts in the region.
The fire service must save £11m this year. pic.twitter.com/1Vez5vwsoU
— Claire Warrender (@C_CWarrender) June 8, 2023
“There are six appliances in Dundee and that will go down to five.
“If there are two incidents at the same time, we’ll have to wait for a sixth appliance to travel from Balmossie or Arbroath.
“And that will then impact on fire cover for that area, with a knock-on impact on firefighter safety and community safety.”
Mr Leroux said that in Perth, crew numbers would drop from 10 to five.
And with one appliance often based near the A9 in case of RTAs, it could mean Perth is often left with just one fire engine.
Fire service cuts are ‘very short-sighted’
He added: “There have been major incidents in Perth and Dundee over the last 18 months, most notably the Perth hotel fire.
“And fire crews from all over were called on to help with the Jenners fire in Edinburgh.
“Dundee is a growing city and needs adequate fire cover.
“These appliances are being removed not because we don’t need them but because they can’t afford to keep them.
“Firefighters will gather outside the City Chambers at noon on Monday to make our feelings known.
“And we’ve put out a call to arms to everybody in surrounding stations to join us.”
Perth City Centre Conservative councillor Chris Ahern added: “This is very short-sighted by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
“I hope they are willing to take responsibility for anything that happens as a result of these cuts.”
Fire service insists ‘no increased risk’
The SFRS says the decision was made after four years of robust data-gathering.
It says it has selected fire stations where the removal of one appliance would have the least impact.
And it insists there will be no increased risk to the public or firefighters.
However, Fife Council has already called on fire chiefs to withdraw the plan.