Consultation has started today over proposals to remove full-time firefighters from one of Suffolk’s biggest towns.

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Over the past three years, the number of full-time officers at Felixstowe has been gradually reduced with the town relying increasingly on on-call retained crews to deal with emergencies.

Changes were first proposed in 2010 as part of an Integrated Risk Management Plan, and after a campaign and petition against the removal of full-time crews, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service agreed to a phased approach so that the impact couild be closely monitored.

In 2011, crewing arrangements were changed from seven-day, day-time full-time crews to five-day, day-time crews with on-call teams covering outside the day-time hours.

Then in 2012 the five-day system was replaced with new arrangements where a five-day nucleus crew of full-time officers gave support to on-call firefighters.

Now the fire service wants to move to stage three of the phased reduction with the removal of all full-time officers.

It says its latest review of the impact of the stage two changes had considered the number and type of 999 calls the firefighters responded to, the risk profile of the surrounding area and the concerns raised during the 2011 consultation.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service considers the latest review supports the implementation of the next and final stage of the proposal.

Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “After our consultation in 2011, we recognised the concerns that were raised and agreed to adjust our proposal for the change of crewing arrangements at Felixstowe fire station.

“The phased approach enabled us to deliver the changes in three small stages and to fully review the impact each time.

“We also agreed that we would consult the public again before we made the final change, that is what we are now doing and I would encourage you to read the information and respond to the consultation.”

The six-week consultation on the proposed changes can be seen at www.suffolk.gov.uk/consultations

People can give their views by visiting a drop-in session on Wednesday, February 19 between 4pm and 8pm at Felixstowe Fire Station, High Road West; completing an online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/SFRSFelixstoweIRMP; or via post to Business Support Team, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich, IP1 2BX

The deadline for submissions is Midnight on Tuesday, March 4.

21 comments

  • Well said seasidemac- I just tried to do the survey and had the same problem. What a con!!!!

    Report this comment

    paul

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • I just had a look at this. So we cannot answer no? So the county council will always get the answer that they need? Who will be to blame when someone dies in a fire as a crew from Ipswich are stuck in traffic at Ransomes?

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    in-my-own-words

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Thank you to those who have highlighted the issue with Q2 of the online survey. This was a technical issue which has now been resolved. You can now answer 'yes', 'no', 'don't know' and leave a comment. Responses that have already been entered will be included as part of the consultation.

    Report this comment

    Suffolk County Council

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Move people out of Felixstowe while it all burns down...

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • all the money the dock makes it is about time they give something back.The dock have got a fully equipped and staffed appliance why not use them??

    Report this comment

    comments

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • @comments: erm I think you'll find the port is the reason this town is here and the main source of employment and prosperity for Felixstowe, it already gives us a lot!

    Report this comment

    Seasidemac

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Madness! I don't pay my council taxes for this to happen!

    Report this comment

    Steve Squirrell

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • It's not complete madness - it's incomplete!

    Report this comment

    Mr Grumpy

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • I am not a Felixstowe resident how ever i do spend most of my summer month staying in Felixstowe I am pleased to say holiday making. Also as a retired fireman I do understand the concern of the Felixstowe people with regards to not having a retained fire crew. Although the docks have their own fire brigade should there ever be a major fire at any of the holiday parks of which there are several this would be a major problem mobile home need the fasts attention that you can possible give them and this may not be possible with out a retained crew. A place such as Felixstowe should never ever be with out an instant fire crew. So be sensible and leave all alone.

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    Bert

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • nucleus crew means there are limited number of whole time crew to crew the appliance normally 1 or 2. So it is crewed by oncall personnel anyway,due to lack of support and empathty last time the cuts have already been made and this is just a political formality. ipswich east is just 6 minutes up the road and the port have got their own fire section and this can be called upon for support if needed. The wholetime status for this station is like a wounded animal that needs to be kindly put down, dont waste your energies in fighting this there are further cuts coming !!!

    Report this comment

    comments

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • This is ridiculous - there is a box on Q2 that says No -Why but when I tried to put a reason it wouldn't accept it because I hadnt ticked a box. This is a con devised to show only answers that the council want to see.

    Report this comment

    N M

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Thank you to those who have highlighted the issue with Q2 of the online survey. This was a technical issue which has now been resolved. You can now answer 'yes', 'no', 'don't know' and leave a comment. Responses that have already been entered will be included as part of the consultation.

    Report this comment

    Suffolk County Council

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • I am outraged about this - I thought these proposals had been shelved. So I immediately went to give my feedback via the on line survey - second question: "Should Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service implement the proposal to crew Felixstowe fire engines with on-call firefighters only?". You can only answer yes or don't know, there is no tick box for no!!

    Report this comment

    Seasidemac

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Crazy, this is just cuts by stealth, doing it in stages. this is a large town, and has a large industrial area, we need proper cover all the time. This council survey is found at.... https:www.surveymonkey.comsSFRSFelixstoweIRMP

    Report this comment

    john

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • I can confirm that I was able to register my emphatic NO to the proposals on the SCC online survey this morning (Wednesday 220114).

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    John Shirley

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • This is complete madness. With an expanding town with increasing number of properties and residents, not to mention the fact that we have the largest container port in the UK here. We know that our town gets cut off from the rest of the world on a regular basis due to accidents on the A14, so that means the fire engines can't get here if the station is closed down completely. We pay our local taxes to ensure we have these sort of services available to us and I, for one, would happily pay increased (my share) council tax to ensure we keep the valuable service LOCAL. I have kids, family and friends and they are all put at increased risk with each 'phase' that gets rolled out. Unfortunately, the decision has probably already been made and the 'consultation' is just a formality. Let's hope our local councillors man-up and face this head on. I guess it wouldn't hurt the Evening Star or EADT to start a campaign as they did with the Blue Cross a while back. I love animals but I think fire protection is more vital to the town albeit not so fluffy or 'crowd pleasing'.

    Report this comment

    Homeofstowe

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Thank you to those who have highlighted the issue with Q2 of the online survey. This was a technical issue which has now been resolved. You can now answer 'yes', 'no', 'don't know' and leave a comment. Responses that have already been entered will be included as part of the consultation.

    Report this comment

    Suffolk County Council

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Felixstowe dock ambulances & paramedics are used on the streets of Felixstowe, I'm guessing their fire engines will be doing the same soon. Cost cutting measures by the council again

    Report this comment

    L S

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Thank you to those who have highlighted the issue with Q2 of the online survey. This was a technical issue which has now been resolved. You can now answer 'yes', 'no', 'don't know' and leave a comment. Responses that have already been entered will be included as part of the consultation.

    Report this comment

    Suffolk County Council

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Thank you to those who have highlighted the issue with Q2 of the online survey. This was a technical issue which has now been resolved. You can now answer 'yes', 'no', 'don't know' and leave a comment. Responses that have already been entered will be included as part of the consultation.

    Report this comment

    Suffolk County Council

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • If the good people commenting here had been unfortunate enough to suffer the SCC Schools Organisation Review, they would already have experience of how the undemocratic Tory council skews questionnaires, twists the results and generally gerrymanders all consultations so that the only answers it gets are those it wanted in the first place. A total disgrace, but wholly typical.

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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

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