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Say NO to cutting our 2nd fire engine.

by nigelbennett on 4 November, 2015

Conservative run Suffolk County Council have published their proposals for the Fire Service across Suffolk. For Sudbury, the proposal is to remove the 2nd fire engine and replace with a rapid response type vehicle.

The report is vague about the replacement vehicle. It states:

“It is not possible to assess the operational impact of the proposal until a considerable volume of analysis has been undertaken to determine optimum crewing and operational response arrangements. If a decision is made in 2016 to accept this proposal, after public consultation, a working group will be established to consider these details. This group will include representative bodies and firefighters from Sudbury. The operational impact of a rapid response vehicle will be informed by learning from fire services across the country who operate similar arrangements. A smaller vehicle has the potential to improve initial response times to some incidents; it could be flexibly crewed with fewer firefighters, allowing a faster response once a call is received. It could then be supported by other fire engines sent to the scene if more resource was required. The Service will consider provision of new and innovative firefighting and rescue equipment to maximise the vehicle’s effectiveness. This would be the first vehicle of its type in Suffolk. With Long Melford fire station less than 3 miles from Sudbury, and two fire engines being maintained in the town, Sudbury would continue to be provided with two fire engines and a rapid response vehicle within three miles. The average speed of response for all three vehicles is likely to remain at less than 13 minutes.”

The report that is about financial savings is also vague. It states:

“The extent of the financial savings that will be derived from this proposal will be confirmed as part of the future work to design the vehicle, equipment and associated crewing arrangements.”

Suffolk CC is planning a 14 week consultation on its fire cuts but one comes to the conclusion that the proposals for Sudbury should be rejected and the 2nd engine remain as the detail of the proposals are incomplete, inadequate and unsatisfactory. No clear case has been made. Recent events prove no reduction should be made.

I hope you will read the report via the link below and come to the Town Council on Tuesday 10th November at the Town Hall as we question the Chief Fire Officer and Portfolio Holder.


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