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Felixstowe: Concern voiced over plans to remove all full-time fire officers from resort

07:00 12 February 2014

Felixstowe Fire Station - full-time crews are set to be removed

Felixstowe Fire Station - full-time crews are set to be removed

Archant

Community leaders have called on fire service chiefs to cancel proposals to remove all full-time officers from one of Suffolk’s biggest towns.

Strong concerns have been voiced over the extra time it will take on-call crews to reach emergencies in Felixstowe, especially as response times have declined with reductions so far in the town’s full-time firefighters.

Felixstowe Town Council agreed by seven votes to four to ask Suffolk County Council to cancel the withdrawal of the remaining officers,
saying it was unconvinced financial savings outweighed the real risks to lives and property.

Councillor Michael Sharman said Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service had not made a clear case for the changes for the town, which has 12,000 homes and 1,500 businesses, and is due to have 1,760 more homes.

He said: “There has been a significant dip in the performance standard of the first appliance within 11 minutes from 94.29% in 2012 to 83.87% last year – the lowest for at least a six-year period.

“This is a fact that must be associated with crewing arrangements being changed from a five-day full-time crew model to a five-day nucleus model.

“Moreover, there has also been a dimunition in the performance standard for the second appliance, down from 100% in 2012 to 95.83% last year.

“I am very concerned that the availability of the second Felixstowe appliance continues to fall and the actual number of hours of unavailability continues to rise dramatically and is projected to be almost 1,000 hours for a full year.”

Fire chiefs say their latest review of the phased reduction in officers supports the withdrawal.

12 comments

  • i think the fight was lost when it got downgraded to nucleus crewing last year. There is not enough fulltime crews to take the fire engine out anyway and they have to wait for the oncall to come in before they can turn out. Reducing these 4 posts will have no further effect on attendance times,of course the response times have reduced this was inevitable. I wonder if the councillors would be intersted in this if there was not an election coming up!!!

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    comments

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Nucleus crewing was not a permanent change but a transition period to becoming on-call.Even with all 4 wholetime on duty they dont have a complete crew and have to rely on the on-call responding.This is due to rota days leave and courses. The time for fighting was three years ago and unfortunately due to low numbers the fight was lost.Reducing these remaining for posts will have no effect on response times.The on-call crew all live in felixstowe so getting to the station is no problem, of course it takes longer because they have to respond from work or home,unless the station is upgraded the figures will not improve, with the present climate of cutbacks the chances of that are remote to none.After the election there will be more cuts to come.

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    comments

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

  • a 11% reduction in the initial response time is not good enough and will cost someone their live very soon. With the increase in the number of houses over the coming years totalling 14% the fire chiefs need to wake up and resource the towns facility properly. We also need our town councillors to represent our needs properly and put across all our concerns and don't take NO for an answer.

    Report this comment

    Homeofstowe

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Why weren't we given these performance figures before being invited to complete the consultation document? This is concrete evidence that our fire service has already been downgraded with consequent threat to safety and property. No more!

    Report this comment

    Seasidemac

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • At the risk of repeating other comments I too cannot believe this has even been discussed. We need some form of petition (Felixstowe Star please?) to make this more widely known. Have the decision makers forgotten the size of the dock complex? Presumably, provided there is no loss of life, these unnamed decision makers won't worry about loss of proeprty as it is assumed the rebuild and repairs will be covered by the insurers.

    Report this comment

    DALINE

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

  • I cannot believe that four people decided that it was a good idea to carry on and withdraw more Fire service personal?? Pity those councillors could not be named so we could all remember not to vote for them next year. Totally unbelievable, I have now lost all confidence in our elected members!!

    Report this comment

    Marc James

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • This is unbelievable and totally crazy. With two big new housing developments for Felixstowe just approved by SCDC. That's 400 new houses with c 600 extra cars and c 1200 additional residents. Add 500 new jobs at the New Warehouse with associated additional vehicle movements in and out. Concentrate all this on one road into Felixstowe and what have you got. A lot of Felixstowe residents praying that they will never ever need any of the Emergency Services urgently. Now convince me the MELTON MAFIA care a jot about Felixstowe !!

    Report this comment

    felixstoweblue

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Here we go again cutbacks cutbacks. Felixstowe has a very large senior citizen population, in the event of fire time is of the most imprtance. All it takes is one life to be lost and the compensation and court cost would probably be more then to keep the firefighters in the resort

    Report this comment

    barry levine

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • i think the fight was lost when it got downgraded to nucleus crewing last year. There is not enough fulltime crews to take the fire engine out anyway and they have to wait for the oncall to come in before they can turn out. Reducing these 4 posts will have no further effect on attendance times,of course the response times have reduced this was inevitable. I wonder if the councillors would be intersted in this if there was not an election coming up!!!

    Report this comment

    comments

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • make the fire chiefs jobs part time and part time wages.this tory goverment is all about cutting other peoples jobs but not there own.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • I'm sorry to say, the fight was lost over 3 years ago when the down grading of the station was first announced. there was a public consultation at Orwell high school, only 80people turned up (current population of Felixstowe is arround 27,000). The current fulltime crew only consists of 2 staff not 4 as the the crew have already been depleted. This means that the station is in effect an on-call station already and removing the 2 staff will have no adverse affect on the attendance times, Unfortunatley the cuts from central government have made it a necessity. There is another public consultation meeting at Felixstowe Fire station on the 19th of Feb from 3pm, so go along and by all means have your say.

    Report this comment

    Concerned

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

  • i think the fight was lost when it got downgraded to nucleus crewing last year. There is not enough fulltime crews to take the fire engine out anyway and they have to wait for the oncall to come in before they can turn out. Reducing these 4 posts will have no further effect on attendance times,of course the response times have reduced this was inevitable. I wonder if the councillors would be intersted in this if there was not an election coming up!!!

    Report this comment

    comments

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

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

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