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Felixstowe: 29,000 people, 1,500 businesses and 12,000 homes – but no full-time firefighters

12:26 24 February 2014

Suffolk Fire Service Assistant Chief Phil Embury, Suffolk County Councillors John Goodwin and Graham Newman, Watch Commander Gary Fry and Group Commander Dave Pedersen held a open consulation day at the Felixstowe Fire Station for members of the public to discuss the station going to an on-call system.

Suffolk Fire Service Assistant Chief Phil Embury, Suffolk County Councillors John Goodwin and Graham Newman, Watch Commander Gary Fry and Group Commander Dave Pedersen held a open consulation day at the Felixstowe Fire Station for members of the public to discuss the station going to an on-call system.

Opponents of proposals to withdraw all full-time firefighters from Felixstowe have labelled the consultation process “a shambles”.

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Town and district councillor Mike Deacon said there were no notices put up to publicise a consultation drop-in session with fire chiefs at the fire station until after the event started.

He said: “This whole consultation has been a shambles.

“No more than five people attended the consultation event during the first two hours. I just hope that they take notice of our 600 strong petition – and still collecting – than they have in the past.

“This petition shows the real strength of feeling across the ages against their proposals.”

The fire service is proposing to remove the resort’s remaining full-time firefighters, leaving all emergency cover to on-call crews – the final phase of a three-year programme which has seen full-time officers gradually reduced.

Opponents say the move is disgraceful for a town of 29,000 people, 1,500 businesses and 12,000 homes.

Mr Deacon said the proposals come at a time when 1,760 new homes are planned for the town and nearby villages, and a dip in response times with latest statistics showing the first fire engine to fires in a building arrived within 11 minutes on just 80% of occasions.

He added: “These final changes are the last straw for Felixstowe.

“Response times will increase and what matters to someone with a house fire is how quickly fire engines arrive. On-call firefighters do an excellent job – but they have to travel from their place of work to the fire station first which can add on another five minutes.”

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said the event at Felixstowe Fire Station was promoted via the media, its website, Facebook, and Twitter.

A spokesman said: “We’d like to remind people that the consultation is still open and will remain so until Tuesday, March 4.

“We encourage all those living in Felixstowe to have their say on the proposals to ensure a well informed consultation exercise.

“The public can have their say over the phone, over email, online or via a hard copy questionnaire available on request.”

These are the ways people can have their say:

Online survey: www.surveymonkey.com/s/SFRSFelixstoweIRMP

Phone: 01473 260588

Email: Fire.BusinessSupport@suffolk.gov.uk

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8 comments

  • Once again: how can we sign the petition?

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    Seasidemac

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • So that would be the same well informed process that included an online survey where the "no" box didn't work, meaning that you could only submit a vote for the proposals or a don't know......goodness knows what a badly informed process would look like. Mike deacon is being kind when he calls it a shambles. A "sham" is more like it as the decision has been taken and no matter what anyone says to them in the consultation, the closure will go ahead.

    Report this comment

    paul

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • the removal of the last four wholetime posts will have no effect on turnout times.At the moment the station has to wait for the on-call to be called in for an incident.and this has been like this for 1-2 years when it went down to nucleus crewing.Most of suffolk is served in this way anyway.

    Report this comment

    comments

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Where is the petition ?

    Report this comment

    Danielle

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • Further to my previous post - should there ever be an incident at a local school where a fire crew is needed in a hurry and even one child is hurt I hope these people can live with themselves afterwards. Not many of us could!

    Report this comment

    Suffolk Sue

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • And that's without at least 8 schools when 'operation stack' is in operation...........so all those children deserve no consideration. I despair of Felixstowe - what used to be a safe environment has turned into a third world county!

    Report this comment

    Suffolk Sue

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Further to my previous post - should there ever be an incident at a local school where a fire crew is needed in a hurry and even one child is hurt I hope these people can live with themselves afterwards. Not many of us could!

    Report this comment

    Suffolk Sue

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Trying to get a comment on here is like getting blood from a stone!!

    Report this comment

    Suffolk Sue

    Monday, February 24, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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