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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Drastic Fire cuts in Barrow Dalton and Ulverston save just £200k from £24.5m target

DRASTIC cuts to fire services in Furness have resulted in savings of just £200,000.

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UNDER THREAT Dalton fire station, which could close in June

Earlier this month 10 out of 11 local county councillors voted to shut Dalton retained fire station and one fire engine moved from Barrow to Ulverston.

Angry firefighters say that just one engine just isn’t enough cover for the area and lives could be lost.

The cuts were made by Cumbria County Council which must make savings of £24.5m in 2014/15 and almost £90m over the next three years.

Dalton Town Councillor John Millar said he still couldn’t understand why the facilities had been slashed when such a small amount had been saved.

He said: “At the public meeting I asked the question about how much would be saved by the closing Dalton’s station and we were told £65,000. Is that the cost of a life £65,000? That’s someone’s wages.

“Suddenly our MP John Woodcock is calling for the service to be monitored. That should have been done before any decision was made.

“Is this the thanks Dalton’s firefighters get for 130 years of service in the town?

“I have not spoken to one person in Dalton or Barrow who agrees with these cuts.”

A Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “The Fire Service changes in the Furness Peninsular have been introduced as part of a county-wide savings exercise that is about shaping the service to the dangers that exist and ensuring the right personnel and equipment are in the right place at the right time.

“Closing Dalton fire station and moving a full-time fire engine from Barrow to Ulverston, siting a resilience pump in Barrow and changing crewing arrangements for the aerial ladder platform, will save more than £200,000 while continuing to ensure that Furness remains able to deal with all incidents and that the service’s essential prevention work can continue.

“Once the changes are introduced, Furness will have four fire engines and a resilience appliance based at three fire stations for the area’s 38,500 dwellings. This compares favourably to Carlisle, where there are two fire appliances based at two fire stations covering 45,244 dwellings.”

Have your say

I really do think this is a big mistake. 10 Councillors voted against saving lives in Dalton. I presume these fortunate people do not live or have family in Dalton. It is only a matter of time before there will be an incident were life will be lost and could of been prevented but for cutbacks. I really do not know how the 10 will be able to sleep at night. Ask any Barrow fireman and they will all say it is wrong and dangerous. Sweet dreams the 10 gamblers of life .

Posted by neil on 26 February 2014 at 07:57

The fire spokesman fails to mention that Carlisle is surrounded by three other fire stations within a similar distance to what exists in Furness, so there is a total of five fire pumps covering that area not just two.

Posted by firebob on 25 February 2014 at 22:50

View all 6 comments on this article

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