Cllr Barney Fitzpatrick, who has been at the forefront of the campaign to maintain second appliance in the town said: “This is a devastating loss for the town of Portstewart. The loss of the engine will, no matter what the authorities say, put local people in greater danger.
“With only one fire engine to serve this busy town, firefighters will be stretched beyond their capacity. The staff at the station do an excellent job. They deserve more support, not a cut in their resources.
“When the one serving fire appliance is called out, homes and businesses in the town will be left vulnerable. Response times will obviously increase as appliances from elsewhere will now have to be drafted in.
“This reduction in service really could be a matter of life and death. Even though this announcement has been made, we will continue to campaign against it and do all in our power to overturn it.”