LESS than one month is left for people to have their say on the proposed changes to fire service plans to meet a financial shortfall of up to £4 million.

Draft plans by the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s governing Fire Authority proposes to reduce the number of firefighters on an engine from five to four.

However, no staff would be made redundant and reductions would occur when firefighters retire.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue says the only other realistic alternative would be to reduce the speed of its 999 response during the night from up to half of its fire stations.

“There has been some misinformation out there about what we’re proposing - to be clear, we’re not making firefighters redundant and fire engines already ride with four people on them about a third of the time,” explains deputy chief fire officer, Alex Johnson.

“We’d rather not make any changes at all, but doing nothing isn’t an option.

“We think it’s better to reduce the number of firefighters on a fire engine, than it is to slow down response times to some of our communities by reducing the number of fire engines which are immediately available.

“We’ve published our draft plans and invite the public to share their views on them before the consultation closes in a few weeks time.”

People can share their thoughts on the proposal via an online survey on the South Yorkshire Fire website or writing to IRMP Consultations, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, 197 Eyre Street, Sheffield S1 3FG.

The consultation period ends on August 2.