Chief Fire Officer says reprieved fire stations now have viable future, guarantees they won’t be closed/merged without further consultation
The Chief Fire Officer, Lee Howell (above), and his deputy appeared at a Devon County Council Scrutiny committee yesterday and presented an optimistic picture of the future of the six reprieved stations, including Colyton. However he defended the closure of Budleigh Salterton and Topsham.
Since Colyton and the other reprieved stations’ crews had agreed to the new ‘Payment for Availability’ scheme, they said, they were ‘confident there would be no need to come back’ with new proposals for closure. Possible ‘mergers’ of stations mentioned in the Fire Authority papers are not currently being pursued. Moreover guarantees were given that there would be further consultation in the (apparently unlikely) event of closures or mergers being proposed.
They also defended the new ‘aggregate crewing’ system, saying that engines with crews of 2 or 3 (rather than the normal minimum of 4) would be mainly sent to small incidents which didn’t require full crews.