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Fire stations across North Yorkshire are facing huge cuts as part of the “Fire Cover Review” proposed by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Firefighters (1)

The cuts will have a major detrimental impact on both fire-fighter and public safety, with reductions to the number of full-time fire-fighters and some fire engines replaced with smaller response vehicles. The cuts will affect fire stations in Harrogate, Ripon, Tadcaster, Scarborough, Northallerton and Malton.

The proposed cuts include:

  • 6 front-line fire engines to be replaced with smaller Tactical Response Vehicles carrying less fire-fighters and equipment.
  • A reduction of more than 40 full-time fire-fighters. This is on top of 50 posts lost since 2010. This equates to 20% of operational staff in the region and does not include the 200 part-time fire-fighters who have resigned in the same time period.
  • A further reduction from 46 to 27 in the number of fire engines that respond to incidents in under 5 minutes. Between 8 and 13 fire engines are currently unavailable to respond to incidents on a daily basis due to problems with recruiting and retaining part-time fire-fighters. Managers have already agreed locally to extend response times – before any further reductions in frontline services and without scrutiny by the public or fire-fighters.

Owen Hayward, Head of Risk Management at the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, stated earlier this year that any changes would be made in a “sensible and safe manner.” However, what is “sensible and safe” about cutting the number of fire-fighters, reducing the number of fire engines and increasing response times?

North Yorkshire is already a difficult area to cover for our fire service with a population of 1.2 million and a large network of country roads. Road traffic collisions and property fires have not reduced and there has been an increase in fire deaths this year. The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service proposals will seriously compromise both fire-fighter and public safety.

Make your voice heard – defend our fire service!

The proposed cuts are now subject to a public consultation. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) have launched the following website to highlight how public and fire-fighter safety will be affected:

http://www.no2firecuts.com/

The website includes a link to an E petition which will go to the Fire Authority members and Andrew Jones MP.

To participate in the public consultation see the following survey by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FCRhaveyoursay

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Save our fire service – Harrogate Socialist Party Meeting, 8th September

Simon Wall, Brigade Chair of the FBU in North Yorkshire, will be speaking at our next meeting about the FBU campaign to defend our fire service.

The meeting will be on Tuesday 8th September, starting 7.45 pm. All welcome!

Note that we now have a new venue for meetings: St. Robert’s Club, Robert Street (opposite Waitrose), Harrogate, HG1 1HP

Harrogate Socialist Party will be campaigning in support of the FBU during the public consultation. If you would like to get involved in the campaign to defend our fire service then contact: harrogatesocialists[at]gmail.com

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