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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Search to recruit Barrow firefighting crew to tackle major incidents

UP to 10 new on-call firefighters are being recruited for a new back-up engine in Barrow to be introduced as part of controversial savings measures.

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‘ADDITIONAL BACK-UP’ John Wall

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service needs the firefighters to staff the “resilience” engine based at Barrow fire station.

To save £200,000 across the fire service in Furness, Cumbria County Council closed Dalton fire station, moved a full-time engine from Barrow to Ulverston and altered crewing arrangements to the aerial ladder platform at Barrow.

The resilience engine and its on-call staffing, agreed as part of the same savings package, will be used during major incidents, or when access to the peninsula is blocked by, for example, a traffic collision.

Candidates must live within 10 minutes of Barrow station, rather than five minutes for routine on-call staff.

The county council made the cuts as part of a wider £24.5m savings package following unprecedented cuts. There has been union anger over the plans and warnings the changes could put the public at risk, but the fire service insists the level of provision remains safe.

Explaining the role of the resilience engine, John Wall, locality manager for Barrow, said: “The feedback during the consultation identified there was a desire to have some additional back-up in the Furness peninsula for those rare occasions when there is a large or protracted incident and where access to the peninsula may be compromised – for example, if the A590 is blocked.

“The reality is, it would only be utilised if the current four appliances – two at Ulverston, one at Barrow, one at Walney – were all in use at a large-scale or protracted incident. The changes we have introduced are about reflecting the current risks and shaping the service to the dangers that exist.

“Our resources are now matched to the risks Cumbria faces, as set out in our integrated risk management plan which underpins all the work we do.”

The resilience engine firefighters can earn up to £6,000 a year. Mr Wall said the service was liaising with local employers to discuss the benefits of staff having the flexibility to potentially save lives in the community.

Contracts will be for limited or full cover, plus completion of 150 hours of training per year. The closing date is August 29. Open days are being held at Barrow station between noon and 6pm on August 8, and between noon and 7pm on August 19.

Have your say

How many times has Barrow been cut off by the A590 being blocked and a large incident at the same time 0, what about Broughton and Millom coming down the A595. I see a strike breaking pump on the Horizon and another full time fire engine lost in the next round of savings if this takes off.

Posted by John on 31 July 2014 at 22:10

10 x £6000 plus re training costs. Dalton station would of been cheaper to keep. The Fire Service management team really are a joke. Poor John Wall in the photo must feel a right idiot as he's only taking orders from head office. Do they really think the public can be fooled by their incompetent way of trying to hood wink us. It's seem they haven't a clue what's going on and where on earth have they saved money let alone save more this and next year.

Posted by Fire Sam on 31 July 2014 at 15:02

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