Thursday 23 May 2024
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Nottingham

Union questions timeline for return of 24-hour cover at fire station

The Fire Brigades Union has raised questions over when more details will be revealed about plans to reinstate Ashfield Fire Station’s 24-hour cover.

In February, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service agreed to reverse changes in 2018 which cut wholetime fire cover at the Kirkby-in-Ashfield station to day shifts and on-call cover only at night.

The union says it is still awaiting any exact proposals from the fire service about how the u-turn will be carried out.

The change was originally made as part of Nottinghamshire Fire Authority plans to claw back cash to find £500,000 per year.

But local councillors criticised the move and said it led to increased response times at the station.

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In February, the fire authority agreed to “swiftly work up and implement proposals to address the identified gap”.

It also announced it would not go ahead with plans to implement other controversial cuts.

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.

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, Leader of Ashfield District Council, (Ind) said he was “absolutely delighted” about the news at the time, but further plans, invcluding a date for when full cover will return, have not yet been revealed by the fire service.

In a statement the fire service said options were still being worked on and there would be more detail “before summer”.

Mark Stilwell, Regional chair of the Fire Brigades Union, said: “We are keen to get Ashfield back to a 24-hour wholetime time service, but as of yet we are still awaiting any proposals.

“The main thing for us is we do not want to see any detrimental cuts to services.

“The FBU believes that any reduction in our current crewing models will have significant safety implications for firefighters and the public across the county.”

A spokesperson for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “In February 2023, the Chief Fire Officer was instructed by the Fire Authority to investigate options for reinstating Ashfield Fire Station swiftly.

“The Chief Fire Officer, Craig Parkin, is looking to present options to members before summer 2023.”

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