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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Ulverston fire service will be ‘good’ despite cuts

FIRE bosses have pledged that Ulverston will retain “exceptionally good fire cover” – despite concerns over proposed cuts.

At a meeting on Wednesday night, Steve Healey, Cumbria Fire and Rescue’s head of service delivery, assured members of the public that changes to the fire service in Furness would result in improved cover in Ulverston.

The meeting, held at the town’s fire station in The Ellers, was organised by Ulverston Bringing Communities Together.

Local councillors and members of the public raised concerns that the changes could put people and property at risk and cut response times to road accidents on the A590 and major flooding incidents.

In November last year, Ian Shaw, watch manager at Ulverston fire station, also voiced concerns about the proposals.

He argued that replacing on-call fire fighters in Ulverston with a permanent team from Barrow would mean crews would spend the majority of their time travelling back to fires in Barrow.

Speaking on Wednesday night, Mr Healey said: “If these changes go ahead, you will still have four appliances for this area which is still exceptionally good fire cover.

“Moving a regular appliance from Barrow to Ulverston will mean 7,000 properties will be able to get quicker response times.”

Ulverston is set to lose one of its two retained fire engines and six of its on-call firefighters.

Mr Healey said that the four remaining engines in Furness would be able to manage the risk because of preventative work to install smoke alarms and improve building regulations.

He added: “The majority of fires we attend are very small, if not out on arrival.

“Of course we will always get serious fires but we feel we have sufficient fire cover for this area.

“If we could afford to put a fire station on the corner of every street then we would.”

Cumbria County Council needs to find £540,000 of savings in the fire service budget out of a total of £24.4m of cuts being made across all services.

The final decision will be made on February 13.

Have your say

I hope CCC and the chiefs of Cumbria Fire Service will be able live with this plan if it goes ahead when lives are lost either in a road accident or serious fire. Everyone but them can see the flaws in their plans, but not them. How can it be a better service when Dalton will lose their Fire Station and Ulverston also lose one crew, both retained crews so they do not have to be paid the same of full time crews. It was said it cost £60K to run Dalton at the meeting held at Dalton last week. It was also said that it would cost £100K to update Ulverston fire Station to accomadate the full time crew they will move from Barrow. These figures were given by the boss of Cumbria Fire Service, ? Buckle so this is not guess. They say 4 fire engines are enough to cover the area from Walney to Newby Bridge, I hope they will never have to retract this statement, due to lives sacrificed to save money. Once more the general public are being penalised because successive governments can't get their own spending under control. If help is ever needed we are 30 miles from the M6, or Kendal. Up the coast from Bootle, where a new Fire Station is currently being built there are least 6 towns up to Maryport all with the services of full or retained Fire Stations, I know they too are under consultation too but I have not heard of any planned closures. Seems that the Furness Penisula will bear the brunt if these cuts! If they go through. I would like to know if there are any plans to reduce the amount we pay in our rates for these services? Extremely Doubtful!

Posted by Maggie on 25 January 2014 at 21:52

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