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FBU protests against downsizing of Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Services

Warwickshire is too small a brigade to be able to cope with the closure of three fire stations and the downgrading of a whole time appliance
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service proposals would bring down safety and security measures  

Warwickshire FBU Officials are planning branch meetings across the county to gauge members' response to plans to close three fire stations.

The move follows last weeks decision by Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Authority to close Studley, Warwick and Brinklow stations and replace a whole time day crewing appliance with a small fires unit.

The Fire Authority met in full on 20th July to discuss 3 proposals put forward by CFO Graeme Smith.

These proposals were produced as an outcome of the consultation period at the end of 2009 to the Improvement Plan where seven stations were facing the axe.

All of the new proposals included station closures within them. The option chosen by the Fire Authority is in its entirety below:

1. Reducing automatic false alarm calls

2. A substantial increase in home fire safety checks

3. An increase in fire behaviour and incident command training

4. Improved performance management arrangements

5. Enhanced flood response capability

6. Enhanced road traffic collision and specialist rescue capability

7. Deploy a small fires unit in the Bedworth area

8. Enhancements to the duty system creating flexible and mixed crewing where needed

According to Fire and Rescue Authority new proposals would enhance the safety and security of residents and firefighters 

The Operational response model will involve the following changes from the original proposals consulted upon at the end of 2009:

  • Bidford, Fenny Compton and Kenilworth fire stations will remain in place as retained stations.
  • Bedworth Fire Station will remain and be crewed by a Retained Fire Appliance and a special small fires unit crewed by whole time firefighters.
  • At Alcester fire station there will be a whole time crew only.

Three Fire Stations (Brinklow, Studley and Warwick) will not be used for operational response in the future and, therefore, will be handed back into the Council's Asset Management portfolio.

This proposal is supposed to deliver a fitter, stronger Fire and Rescue Service in a cost effective way, deliver a more responsive service that makes the best use of resources and improve the safety of residents and firefighters.

Reductions in  Warwickshire's frontline services will not lead to an improvement. The removal of fire engines and firefighters from these stations will greatly increase the risk to public and firefighter safety and possibly on many occasions lead to towns and villages being left without any fire cover.

Since the introduction of this lamentable improvement plan and subsequent IRMP, local FBU officials have been campaigning hard with the local communities and friendly councillors to get these proposals thrown out. However his battle maybe lost but the war is far from over.

Warwickshire is too small a brigade to be able to cope with the closure of three fire stations and the downgrading of a whole time appliance. Lives will be put in danger.

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