Letters: Peter Greeves, February, 20, 2015

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I am responding to last Friday’s letter about the new fire station at Lynn.

The fire station came out of the Fire Services IRMP (Integrated Risk Management Plan) a couple of years ago, which the public were consulted on and were apparently happy with. The reason was a better response time to that part of Lynn and outlying areas. What this also means is that the appliance from Lynn South could get to places like Terrington quicker than the retained firefighters who have a station there.

Our concern was that this could be a way of closing retained fire stations and then who would be covering Lynn whilst engine from Lynn South is at outlying incidents?

The money for the new station came from a capital grant which is not from the main budget but it still come from the taxpayers’ pocket.

Capital grants seem to be the way forward at the moment. This is how the new fire engines, boats, water rescue equipment etc have been purchased. The problem is now we have no way of affording this equipment without these grants which could cause problems in the future if the grants dry up.

However, the running cost now have to be absorbed by the revenue budget (which has been cut year on year by the ConDem government).

There was also no additional money to staff the new station with the correct number of firefighters so the crew at the old station has been split between the old and new stations. Now we have two stations which are understaffed trying to do the job of two fully-crewed stations which is why your fire engines spend most of their time turning out to incidents with minimal crew.

This is one of those cuts which is disguised by a new shiny station. Nobody seems bothered, and won’t until they day they need firefighters and they are either somewhere else or don’t have enough crew on the appliance to deal with the incident effectively.

Peter Greeves,

Norfolk FBU