Axe plan ‘puts lives at risk’

Warsop firestation.
Warsop firestation.

Almost a thousand signatures have been gathered by Warsop residents concerned about plans to close the town’s retained fire station.

The move has been consulted on by Nottinghamshire Fire and rescue as part of a strategy to plug a £2.4m funding deficit in government funding.

If the plan, which is estimated to save £175,000, were to go ahead, incidents in the Warsop area would be attended by fire engines from surrounding areas.

But Karen Seymour, of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, fears that the proposal to remove Mansfield’s retained fire engine at the same time could spell disaster for the area.

She said: “This petition was signed by many who were very concerned that the cuts to local fire services will put lives in danger because of longer response times.”

Warsop Fire Station is currently crewed by on-call firefighters, who respond to incidents as and when required.

But the Fire Authority also proposes to remove Mansfield’s retained fire engine, leaving just engine, in a bid to save £125,000.

Sean McCallum, chairman of Nottinghamshire Fire Brigades Union, said in the event of an incident in Warsop where persons were at risk, if its pump was removed the town would be dependent on cover from other areas such as Edwinstowe.

But if that engine was already committed and Mansfield’s only engine was called out this could leave the town without cover.

“Fire engines will have to come from further afield, which will mean travelling times will be increased,” said Mr McCallum.

“This will mean putting fire fighters at risk as well as members of the public.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Craig Parkin said: “The Service needs to make savings of £2.4m over the next three years and we are looking to achieve £1m of this through a combination of some of the six proposals on which we have consulted.

“There has seen a significant reduction in the number of incidents attended by our fire crews over recent years, and we have taken this into account when looking at where our resources are best placed.”

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