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Felixstowe: Resort’s fire cover will be reduced to retained crews within the next two weeks

12:57 11 June 2014

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

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

Archant

Felixstowe fire station will be staffed by retained firefighters only within the next two weeks.

The county council’s cabinet approved the change yesterday – it is the last phase in the changes to the station that started in 2011.

At that time the station was staffed by a crew of 12 full-time firefighters during the day seven days a week. The first stage of the change was to staff the station only five days a week with eight firefighters in August 2011.

After a year this decision was reviewed – and the decision was taken to convert the fire station to one staffed by a “nucleus” crew of just four full-time firefighters five days a week.

This meant that any call-out would have to rely on some of the 21 retained firefighters at Felixstowe being available to make up the crew.

By reducing the full-time element the council will save £160,000 a year – the crew currently based at Felixstowe will be transferred to other stations.

Presenting the report to Suffolk County Council’s cabinet yesterday, public protection spokesman Colin Spence said that between July 2012 and December 2013 the station had dealt with 338 calls. Of these 151 (45%) had been false alarms.

But only 129 (38%) had been at times when full-time firefighters had been on duty – an average of 1.68 calls a week. Of these 59 calls (46%) had been false alarms.

Graham Newman, who is Felixstowe Town Mayor as well as being a cabinet member, said he had abstained when the town council had discussed the issue and would be doing so again – but it was difficult to argue with the statistics.

However Ipswich Labour councillor Peter Gardiner was concerned that the change could make it take longer for appliances to reach incidents quickly.

He was particularly worried about the length of time it would take for appliances to reach Felixstowe from Ipswich along the A14.

6 comments

  • £160,000 saving a year is nice to know how little value county council put on the lives of the residents of Felixstowe, Trimley village and surrounding area.

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    Jacqueline Norlem

    Thursday, June 12, 2014

  • ref to true blue. shame you did not do your homework,they are called firefighters now not fireman and they are also called on-call and not retained.

    Report this comment

    comments

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

  • My Father was a fireman between 1950 and 1962 and all the firemen used to race to the fire station in Felixstowe where the Bencotto is (not that visitors to Felixstowe would know that it used to be a Fire Station which is a shame) on their bicycles. So what is the difference now. It worked then so it can work now. I was proud of my Dad. And we had the Siren in our loft. Great.

    Report this comment

    biggles the pilot

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

  • What va shame Cllr Gardiner did not do a little homework, Felixstowe has been operating with mainly one full time crew member for over a year. so basically the pump has been going out with more retained firemen each time than regulars. So there will be no difference in time to attend, but I suppose he thought it made a political point shame its wrong.

    Report this comment

    True blue

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

  • Mr Newman does not want to be accountable in any way.... ..so the Felixstowe Town mayor and cabinet member ABSTAINED from voting.

    Report this comment

    chantry

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

  • "Difficult to argue with statistics" !, right, well, now that the government has shrunk our industries and sold the rest off !, we can reduce our MP's to half time, casual no contract hours and save the country even more !!

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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