No night staff at Ashfield Fire Station 'putting lives at risk'

Ashfield Fire Station will no longer have a dedicated team of firefighters in the station at night,
Ashfield Fire Station will no longer have a dedicated team of firefighters in the station at night,

Safety concerns have been raised after changes to the way Ashfield’s fire station is run came into effect.

The move means that Ashfield Fire Station will no longer have a dedicated team of firefighters in the station at night, and will rely on ‘on call’ retained staff if and when they are needed.

The changes, which came into effect on Monday, April 1, have been opposed over concerns how it might impact rural areas like Jacksdale and Selston .

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, said: “This is set to add at least seven minutes to response times across Ashfield and will be even worse in places like Jacksdale, Selston and Underwood.

“I said when it was proposed that lives would be put in danger and I have not changed my view on this.”

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The change of crewing model at Ashfield means that the appliances will be crewed by on-call staff overnight from 6pm until 8am.

“This is the most common crewing we have in the county and does not mean the station will be closed.

“For example, stations at Eastwood, Hucknall and Stapleford are crewed in this way 24 hours a day.”

Mark Stilwell, the Brigade Secretary of the Nottinghamshire Fire Brigades Union said: "Nottinghamshire Fire Authority approved the removal of whole time fire cover from 18.00 to 08.00 at Ashfield and Retford Fire Stations last year.

"During the public consultation, Fire Brigades Union members, local councillors and MP’s publicly opposed this reduction in fire cover.

"From the 1st of April this year residents of Ashfield can expect a fire appliance to take in excess of five minutes longer to reach them.

"The Fire Brigades Union absolutely opposes any cuts to public services, especially when there is a potential to put peoples lives at risk.

"It is unknown how this will ultimately effect local residents and businesses only time will tell. When someone loses their property, business or even their life then there will need to be some very serious questions asked of how this has been allowed happened.

"The government needs to realise that continued cuts to Fire and Rescue service budgets across Britain is putting peoples lives at risk.

"This cannot be allowed to continue, the Fire Brigades Union will continue to campaign for levels of fire cover that the public deserve and pay for."