Tuesday 16 July 2024
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Nottingham

Nottinghamshire fire station to return to 24-hour cover

Full plans to reinstate 24-hour cover at Ashfield Fire Station have been revealed by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The move will decrease call out attendance times from the station by 48 seconds on average and the plans are expected be in place by the end of November 2023.

In 2018, the fire authority decided to take away full time crew cover from Ashfield in favour of on call-only cover at night – a move which has since been criticised by local politicians and residents.

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Now, the fire service has published detailed plans about how it will restore cover at Ashfield.

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The papers have been published ahead of a Fire Authority meeting on July 14.

Councillor Jason Zadrozny (Ind) a member of the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said he was “delighted” by the news.

12 extra crew members are needed to facilitate the return to 24 hour cover – but this would cost the fire service around £600,000 which it says is “not viable”.

Instead, papers state: “It is necessary to facilitate the required changes at Ashfield within the current establishment and without affecting the level of fire cover provided elsewhere.”

Papers added that this may lead to “a greater number of occasions” where fire engines are crewed by four firefighters.

Four firefighters will also be promoted at a cost of £36,000.

In February, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service announced it would no longer go ahead with plans to implement controversial cuts following public consultation.

The major changes, which would have saved £2m to reduce a budget deficit, would have seen West Bridgford Fire Station have no crew on duty at night, and both London Road and Stockhill stations losing one fire engine each.

And the service committed at the time to “swiftly work up and implement proposals at Ashfield Fire Station to address the identified gap in resourcing to risk faced  by the community”.

The papers state:

“In response to the review, and the decision of the Fire Authority, the Service proposes to reinstate wholetime crewing arrangements at Ashfield that mirror all other 24/7 wholetime stations.

“This will ensure that crewing and resilience arrangements for the station are as simple, efficient, and effective as possible.”

Councillor Jason Zadrozny (Ind) a member of the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Authority said:  “I would like to thank the thousands of residents who joined the Ashfield Independent campaign for a full-time fire station.

“We always said, the decision to move to a part-time station in 2018 was the wrong one. I was the only councillor to vote against this at the time.

“We instigated the Fire Service review, led Ashfield’s response to the consultation and never gave up.  It’s another example of working with communities to deliver positive results that makes lives safer.  This is why we do this job – I am delighted.”

Councillor Helen-Ann Smith, (Ind) Deputy leader of Ashfield District Council added that the decision was a “victory for common sense”.

She said: “We promised residents that we would fight for a full-time station and have delivered on this promise.  We have been advised that this will cut response time in Ashfield and the surrounding area by at least a minute. It might not sound a lot but could be the difference in saving lives.  This is excellent news.”

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