NOT even six months on from the fatal fire at the Jenner’s building in Edinburgh that claimed the life of firefighter Barry Martin from Rosyth, I am horrified to hear that more cuts to fire services in Fife are being pushed forward.

I have been told by constituents involved in the fire service that the fire at Jenner’s required the use of every fire resource available in the East of Scotland.

I was delighted to join the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and approximately 500 firefighters from across Scotland last October, when they congregated at Holyrood to protest against a pay offer described as “insulting” and raise the alarm on the impact brutal cuts were having on the ability of these brave workers to protect lives.

And while I was pleased that a pay settlement was agreed, it appears the SNP government have dismissed the concerns of those workers when it comes to the delivery of life-saving intervention through a service that is crumbling.

Chris Murphy, East Area Chair of the FBU, made clear the scale of the issue in a recent press statement – since 2013, the SFRS has seen “tens of millions of pounds cut from the budget” and a loss of 1,100 jobs meaning “there are less people to resolve incidents, which is clearly less safe for communities”.

Even more concerning is that this is not the end of cuts – according to the FBU, the announced cuts constitute an £11 million saving this year, out of a projected £43 million over the next four years.

Budgets may be tight, but what cost can we put on human lives?

With greater risks that ever before of wildfires, such as the wildfire currently being tackled by firefighters in the Highlands, and reports of a huge fire at a recycling centre in Glasgow recently, will it take another devastating incident, another firefighter’s life lost, before the Scottish Government will accept that we cannot simply keep cutting funding from lifeline services?

The cuts currently proposed for Fife include appliances at Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Methil and Kirkcaldy, each cut reducing the number of firefighters on standby to act in an emergency.

I have written to the Minister for Community Safety and Victims, Siobhian Brown MSP, who is responsible for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, to ask for the evidence used to justify these cuts and make clear my opposition to them.