Cheshire has lost almost a quarter of its full-time firefighter posts over the last four years.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has axed 102 full-time firefighter positions since 2012/13 but insists the statistics show the county is safer than ever.
The brigade had 443 whole-time firefighter posts four years ago.
Today the figure has fallen to 341, representing a drop of 23%.
Chief fire officer Paul Hancock has never hidden the fact he would need to make cuts to cope with the loss of millions of pounds from central government.
At a press conference in 2012 he acknowledged the service would need to lose about 100 firefighters but said smoke alarms, greater use of on-call firefighters and smarter working by building fire stations in better locations would keep the public safe.
Figures supplied in response to a Chronicle enquiry show the number of on-call firefighters has indeed risen from 259 in 2012/13 to 288 now. And work is progressing on creating four new stations across the county as well as a safety centre.
However, the station being built at Mollington has not been without controversy as it is in the green belt and will result in a reduction in the number of full time fire engines covering Chester and Ellesmere Port from four to three.
In future, Chester and Ellesmere Port stations will have just one full-time engine each instead of two now, with a back-up pump at the new hub.
A Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Cheshire is now far safer than it used to be with major reductions in the number of fires and incidents we attend. We have, in light of the current financial climate, had to make efficiencies to ensure that we can continue to deliver a high quality service on a reduced budget.
“However, Cheshire Fire Authority remains committed to protecting both the communities it serves and its firefighters. It has therefore kept its pledge of making no firefighters redundant. Instead the reduction in posts has happened naturally as people have left or retired from the service.”
Earlier in 2016, Cheshire Fire Authority decided to increase its share of the council tax bill by almost 2% as it faces more government cuts of nearly £5.1m over the next four years.