May 24 2013 Latest news:
by richard cornwell, FELIXSTOWE EDITOR
Friday, October 12, 2012
COMMUNITY leaders are sending a strong objection to proposals to halve the number of full-time firefighters at Felixstowe.
Town councillors say the move to reduce full-time weekday staffing to just four officers is “wholly inadequate to meet the needs of the town” and will lead to unacceptable delays at 999 calls with unforeseeable consequences.
The changes may at times mean only two or three officers at the fire station – due to leave, training and other commitments – and unable to take out a fire engine to an emergency until enough on-call officers arrive from their work to make up the required crew numbers.
This could mean a four-minute delay in crews attending an incident.
Councillor Mike Sharman said: “You cannot use the statistics from one year as an excuse to reduce the full-time firefighters.
“Just because something didn’t happen yesterday doesn’t mean it won’t happen tomorrow.”
Councillor Margaret Morris said the lightning bolt which struck a house in Alexandra Road, Walton, Felixstowe, last year, when officers arrived quickly to stop the blaze spreading to the whole row of homes, was an example of where seconds count in an emergency.
Fire chiefs say the town has 21 on-call officers available, including three new officers to cover during the day.
They are confident that the cover available will be adequate for the level of risk.