BACK in January 2022, I will always remember receiving a text message from a close family member. It was a photo of their home in flames (The Press, January 19, 2022). And it was the full-time crew at Huntington that were the first responders. We are forever thankful to them.

I remember all the times as a student at Huntington School where the Huntington crew came out. Sure, some were false alarms where students were messing about. Other incidents over the years needed attention, however, especially given the size of the school.

And we sometimes forget the important community role the fire service plays to educate students on fire safety.

Thousands of our children attend schools on the doorstep of Huntington Fire Station.

Since 2016, £140m has been cut from English fire services. It is years of Tory austerity that have led us to where we are now with 24/7 staffing being axed from the Huntington station.

This is extraordinary. Fires don’t operate on a part-time basis.

This is just the latest cut to leave us with an underfunded, undersourced fire service. York Outer’s Julian Sturdy MP has stood up for 12 years in Parliament and voted for the successive cuts that led us to this position.

In my family’s case there were no major injuries beyond smoke inhalation. Call out times matter when it comes to tackling fire. And if there was no Huntington full-time crew there would no doubt have been a very different outcome for my family.

Cuts to the fire service risk lives.

I encourage all families who have experienced the bravery of the fire service to speak out and oppose these plans, write into The Press, and join the campaign.

Luke Charters,




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