Sir, I don’t think you’ve done your homework. (“Fire chiefs: This is best way to make savings”, Gazette, January 16). Can llfracombe really afford the present cover with all those highly paid firemen doing nothing most of the time?

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A friend of mine was involved in a road accident last year. She said the police were the first to arrive, followed by the ambulance, then two fire engines with nine firemen, which were not needed.

How many of the 153 “shouts” in Ilfracombe were like that? The fireman have a vested interest to preserve their highly paid jobs and pensions. Unlike in the private sector – Honda, Blockbuster, HMV, Jessops – no Ilfracombe fireman will be made redundant.

Many towns have retained only fire cover. Bideford, for instance. We never hear of disasters resulting from it.

Let’s have an informed debate on where savings can be made and curtail this hysterical nonsense coming from the press.

Richard Courtnadge

Ilfracombe

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