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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Recent blazes raise concern over loss of second Barrow fire engine

A FIRE chief has raised fresh concern about the upcoming loss of Barrow’s second fire engine, following serious blazes over the weekend which required both appliances to be called out.

0518896
CUTS Barrow fire station, which is set to lose one of its engines. Inset, Tony Callister of the Fire Brigades Union

Councillor Tony Callister, a Fire Brigades Union representative, believes the public could be at risk when one of the two full-time crewed engines in Barrow is moved to Ulverston later this month.

The divisive decision, along with the closure of Dalton Fire Station, was made earlier this year in a cost-cutting move by Cumbria County Council.

The fresh fears come as firefighters had one of their busiest weekends of the year so far, with both Barrow appliances being sent to a wheelie bin fire that spread to a house in Gleaston Avenue, Barrow, a porch roof fire at a fish and chip shop in Dalton, and a major blaze at the Queen’s Head Hotel in Troutbeck.

Mr Callister said dealing with this weekend’s incidents may have been delayed if the cuts were already in place, as crews would have needed to wait for back-up from Ulverston to arrive.

He said: “Appliances are getting pulled from all over Cumbria and with the downgrading of Barrow and Dalton, it does have an impact on having enough cover. It would leave the area at risk.

“In emergencies like these we would need to draw from all over the county. There will be a delay in appliances turning up to support.

“There is a realistic chance if it’s first reported that people are in need of rescue that there would be that delay with the second appliance.

“The officer would not commit any fire officers into that property as they would need support themselves.”

A resilience fire engine for major incidents, such as terror threats or nuclear incidents, will be located in Barrow instead.

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