Rescue Units Cut To Save Clapham And New Cross Fire Stations

 

Bow fire station by Gordon Joly from the Londonist Flickr pool

Bow fire station by Gordon Joly from the Londonist Flickr pool

Revised changes to London’s fire service have been released following the public consultation. The headline is that Clapham and New Cross fire stations are no longer under threat of closure, Chelsea keeps its second engine and East Greenwich gets an extra one, but there’s more resource shuffling in the detail.

The big news is perhaps that we’ll lose even more firefighters than originally proposed: 552 fewer in post rather than 520. Most of this is because the number of Fire Rescue Units (FRUs) is being reduced from 16 to 14 – Hornchurch and Millwall are the ones earmarked to go – and the minimum crewing levels brought down from five to four. FRUs are specialist heavy-rescue units and tend to be called in for complicated rescues e.g., tunnels, chemical spills and underwater. Four FRUs went to the helicopter crash in Vauxhall, but the Fire Brigade says that their use is decreasing and the £6m saved helps keep more fire stations and appliances working.

Opposition politicans are determined to continue the battle to save all stations and engines still planned for closure. Green Assembly Member Darren Johnson said

The Mayor should be listening to the 94% of residents who responded to his consultation by opposing any station closures.

While Labour’s Navin Shah said

We all know that savings have to be made, but the London Fire Brigade has already saved £66million from the back office. Boris is cutting too far and all to fund his penny a day council tax cut.

Stations due to close are: Belsize, Bow, Clerkenwell, Downham, Kingsland, Knightsbridge, Silvertown, Southwark, Westminster and Woolwich. Stations which will lose an engine are: Chingford, Hayes, Leyton, Leytonstone, Peckham and Whitechapel. Stations which will gain an engine are: East Greenwich, Hendon, Orpington, Stanmore and Twickenham. The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority will debate the new proposals on 18 July.

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  • Fireman J

    I am a Firefighter in West Yorkshire & vehemently disapprove of the Government’s decision to decimate the modern Fire Service by reducing Operational Appliances in conjunction with an attack on the Fire Service Pension Scheme.

    Firstly, Naturally, with education from Community fire safety, Fire Setters iniative programmes, Police ASBOS to Arson Reduction Team projects, dwelling fire’s, domestic incindents ranging from bin to grass fires will be reduced temporarily, albeit consequently they will gradually begin to increase as a proportion of humanity will continue to be negligent in the home & in the community. Surely it’s imperative to invest money into maximises public safety, ensuring Fire Engines can respond, protect, preserve human life & public, private & commercial premises. Reducing Appliances is:-

    i) Dramatically increasing public life risk (House/Commercial/Humanitarian – RTC’s/Special Services

    ii) Dramitically increasing property (Private & Commercial) risk

    As a member of the public, I want to be re-assured that if my house was on fire, or I was involved in an accident, I knew the Fire Service would be able to respond within a five minute period.

    Secondly, When I joined over a decade ago, I signed a contract providing me with a Fire Service Pension that would provide me with a good quality of life when I retire in my early to middle 50s. The Scheme was an 11% Pension, not a 11.7% – potentially 15%!!!!! Because of a collaboration of the Government & Banking fraternity’s gross mismanagement of the housing market over a 10 year period, imposing a revised pension is fraudulent deception. Consultation has to take place, not an autocratic (Dictatorship). How can our Final lump sum after 30 years be considerably reduced, along with expecting Firefighters to work potentially until 60 & beyond??? This is disgraceful as, i) It’s committing the same offence as PPI & ii) It’s jeopardising public safety as the human race consequently deteorates physiologically over the age of 50, therefore, being a physically demanding lifestyle also impairs operational performance, imposing huge welfare risk on Firefighters/Public!!

    N.B. Would you want to think of 4 Firefighters over the age of 55 rescuing you in a house fire?? *It has also been sports scientifically proven that working above 55 is hazardous to health in a Firefighting capacity.*