‘Firefight’ to save Shirebrook engine

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RESIDENTS and campaigners have raised safety concerns over a Derbyshire fire service plan to remove the second engines from four stations.

The emergency service held a public meeting at Shirebrook Village Hall, outlining the proposal for Shirebrook, Clay Cross, Ashbourne and Buxton’s part-time, retained stations.

But residents, including those who signed a residents’ 650 name petition against the move, argued Shirebrook needs a second engine and the reduction was an example of money-saving cuts that could pose risks.

Jeannie Robinson, of Chesterfield Coalition Against Cuts, said: “Shirebrook people do not want to lose the engine. We continue to need the second pump in Shirebrook and will continue to campaign to keep it.”

A fire service panel argued research showed the county only needs 38 appliances and currently operates with 42.

They stated that with back up from other stations, Shirebrook did not need a second engine and its removal would not put lives at risk.

Derbyshire chief fire officer Sean Frayne said: “People will always die in fires but taking the fire engine away doesn’t put people at risk because we will still get the appropriate provision of engines.”

He added there was no “cuts agenda” involved and the overall £96,000 saving would go back into a frontline budget.

The service, which is considering views before a decision, said there would be no job losses for Shirebrook, Clay Cross and Ashbourne but plans could affect roles at Buxton. The Fire Brigades Union stated it aims to oppose the proposal.

Those interested can visit www.derbys-fire.gov.uk for more details.