Bridlington fire engine safe from cuts

A section of Brett Street was closed off while the Fire service made safe a broken Arial'PA0720-3h
A section of Brett Street was closed off while the Fire service made safe a broken Arial'PA0720-3h
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Bridlington will not lose one of its three fire engines after the Humberside Fire and Rescue service revealed proposals which see budget cuts affect other stations in the area.

In attempts to deal with a reduction of £5.5m in funding, the fire service drew up a number of preliminary plans which could have seen the east coast affected by an engine being lost from either the Bridlington, Hornsea or Withernsea stations.

However, the service’s Operational Efficiency Programme, which is now out for consultation, identifies the savings will be made at stations in Hull, Immingham and Grimsby.

Bridlington’s station has three fire engines, one full time and two with a retained crew.

When plans were originally drawn up in June, it was proposed that either Bridlington, Withernsea or Hornsea could lose an engine.

Then, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dene Sanders said the cuts would not impact on the safety of residents, and pointed out that the number of fire incidents in the town had dropped by 26% since 2006.

There are 46% fewer fire engine mobilisations than there were 10 years ago and on average, at any one time, two fire stations are attending incidents and 29 fire stations are not.

Mr Sanders said that Bridlington residents “would not really notice a difference in service” if an engine was removed.

But Richard Walker, brigade secretary of the Fire Brigades Union Humberside, said any cuts to front line service would have “inevitably put the public at more risk”.

To save £5.5m, the service has now proposed that Hull’s seven fire engines will all run on four men crews, as five currently have five in the crew.

They also propose that one of East Hull’s two fire engines be removed, or change to an on call crew instead of full time firefighters.

In Immingham, the service propose to reducing three fire engines to two, while reducing Grimsby’s four fire engines to three.

Depending on decisions made in Grimsby, there are also plans in Cleethorpes and Waltham to not crew engines unless for a large incident, at which time staff would be recalled to duty to crew them –and also look at the possibility of creating Small Fires Units (SFUs), crewed by on call firefighters.

Public consultation events will run from today in Hull and Beverley. For more information visit Consultation closes at midnight on Friday 10 January 2014.