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Major reshuffle to fire service in South Cumbria with one station set to close and crews to be redeployed

RADICAL changes have been proposed for the fire service in Cumbria which could see one station closed in Dalton and fire engines removed from Barrow.

Dalton fire station

Cumbria's Fire and Rescue Service has published proposals for changes to the service to meet the risks that exist across the county.

The proposals form part of Cumbria County Council's consultation on its 2014/15 budget and are based on a detailed assessment by the fire service in its draft Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) which is also being consulted on.

Under the proposals one of two full time fire engines will be moved from Barrow to Ulverston and Dalton fire station would be closed.

Problems recruiting firefighters to Dalton and the fact firefighters can only respond to around 40 per cent of calls are the main factors in Dalton being singled out as well as a new full-time team being based in Ulverston.

All the proposed changes are grounded in the fire service's assessment of the risks in different parts of the county and, if approved, would enable the service to continue its prevention work which has helped deliver a significant drop in incidents and injuries over the last three years.

The IRMP shows that:

• Injuries from fires in the home are at an all-time low; incidents across Cumbria have reduced by 34 per cent in the last six years and fire related injuries by a huge 69 per cent.

• Incidents attended have gone down from over 6,500 in 2007/08 to less than 4,500 in 2012/13.

• CFRS Revenue budget has also been reduced with a six year reduction of almost 10% (£22.295m in 2008/09 to £20.091 in 2013/14).

Further proposals include removal of one of the two fire engines currently based in Workington, Whitehaven, Maryport, Penrith and Kendal.

Ian Cartwright, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, said: “From a fire and rescue perspective the county is now safer than it has ever been; the chances of being involved in an incident, or suffering an injury if you are, have reduced massively.

"These proposals would continue the fire and rescue service's journey of putting prevention before cure which has led to dramatic reductions in incidents and injuries over the last few years. Some people will no doubt be concerned, but we have conducted a very thorough analysis and we would not be putting these proposals forward if we believed that they would put people at risk. The service has to shape itself to the dangers that actually exist, we have evolved over time and we will continue to do so."

Cllr Barry Doughty, Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities, said: “Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service provide an excellent service to local communities and the results of its efforts to make Cumbria safer are there for all to see. The service has always allocated its resources to where the risks are in the county. The proposals today are consistent with that approach. I know people will have concerns, I'd recommend they really look closely at the information in the IRMP and the budget consultation before they reach any conclusions.

"We absolutely welcome feedback from the public on these proposals and look forward to hearing people's views."

Have your say

Incidents in Dalton may have been reduced as such as the report says but that is certainly no excuse to shut Dalton fire station down.
It doesn't take a great deal of intelligence that in any emergency that seconds-not minutes-count, so therefore how the hell can emergency services cover from a distance?
What if a fire broke out in say Nelson st?
It could take ages for a vehicle from say Barrow or Ulverston to come as opposed to having one locally!
Keep Dalton fire station open as well as others up & down the country because as we're all too well aware, they are an essential public service.....

Posted by Charlie on 22 October 2013 at 21:55

Dalton Retained Fire Station is staffed by on-call firefighters, all of whom combine their full-time jobs with turning out at a moment's notice when the alerter goes off. As a station we attend many varied turnouts, anything from the rescuing of an injured bird to multi-pump industrial blazes and fires on-board naval vessels at the nearby shipyard. We also play a part in fund-raising activities for local and brigade charities, always leading the way in the Dalton Parade.
We need to retain this fire station

Posted by S smythe on 22 October 2013 at 12:59

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