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Victory for fire service! Proposed cuts will not go ahead

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FROME’S firefighters have welcomed the news that a proposed cut to the town’s service has been scrapped.

The cut, proposed by Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service (DSFRS), would have seen Frome’s service of two fire engines crewed by on-call firefighters 24-hours a day, reduced to one engine crewed 24-hours a day, and the second engine crewed only at night.

The proposal was widely criticised by the community, with a campaign launched by Frome’s on-call firefighters receiving backing from Frome Town Council and local residents. Frome’s firefighters warned that the cuts would put lives, properties and firefighter safety at risk.

Expressing his personal opinion, crew manager at Frome Fire Station, Jason Collier told Frome Times, “This is really good news for everyone, living, working, visiting or even travelling through Frome and the surrounding area, also nearby towns where we also provide additional support and assistance. 

“This will have a very positive impact on lives that are in danger and also the safety of the firefighters that are committed to helping these individuals, properties and reducing the effect on the environment.”

The proposed cut to Frome’s fire service was one of many changes to services in Devon and Somerset put forward by DSFRS that went out to public consultation. Plans were scaled back following the consultation, which received thousands of responses, including five petitions with a total of 43,644 signatures.

The revised plan to make ‘money-saving’ cuts, including the closure of  Budleigh Salterton’s fire station, were approved at a meeting last week.

Jason said, “I am saddened to hear that there are still cuts within the service as I know these pumps provide support to other frontline appliances.” 

Chair of the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority, cllr Sara Randall Johnson said, “We had a long and detailed consultation period over the summer during which people made it very clear how much they value the fire service. Although there were difficult conversations at times, I was pleased to hear how strongly the public and staff felt connected to their local fire stations.

“Members have considered all these proposals at length and have thought very carefully about the impact our decisions may have on the service, staff and the public. These changes will enable the service to move resources to the areas where they are most needed. Importantly, they will also enable greater investment in prevention and protection work to try to prevent incidents occurring – keeping people safer in the places they live, work and visit.

“It is important for people living near one of the affected fire stations to remember that they will continue to receive a response from fire crews in the unlikely event that they need one. We now need to work with service staff and our local communities to implement changes in the most effective way.”

One Response to Victory for fire service! Proposed cuts will not go ahead

  1. dave chapple

    January 30, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    This brilliant campaign, against which the Authority had no argument, was not organised by the Frome firefighters as a bunch of individuals but through their trade union: the Frome Branch of the Fire Brigades Union/FBU, and it was a failure of an otherwise accurate article not to mention this.

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