999 in crisis

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CRISIS is looming for the county’s emergency services as funding is slashed in the face of soaring demand.

In an exclusive interview with the Star, the county’s chief fire officer warned he may have to downgrade full-time stations which will hit response times as he faces a budget cut of £10 million.

Meanwhile, rank-and-file police officers have claimed morale is at ‘rock bottom’ as the Government attempts to impose a pay deal.

And The Star can reveal the Yorkshire Ambulance Service has seen emergency calls rocket by more than 40 per cent in three years, placing its paramedics under increasing pressure.

Chief fire officer Jamie Courtney admitted his service’s future was ‘at the whim of the Government’ and he had no choice but to work with whatever finances he had available.

South Yorkshire Police must save £42 million by 2015 - and more than 1,100 police staff could be lost. A police union official admitted officers were upset and angry because they felt they were being unfairly treated .

And it has been claimed ambulance response times were a ‘postcode lottery’ in the face of rising 999 calls.