Public to be consulted on proposed changes to fire and rescue service

June 28 2019
Public to be consulted on proposed changes to fire and rescue service

PUBLIC consultation on a series of options to change the way the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service operates in the future will open on Monday, July 1.

At a meeting of the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority today (Friday, June 28), members agreed to approve the options for consultation but with an amendment to ensure that the consultation process allows the public to comment on elements of the proposals.

Councillor Sara Randall-Johnson, chair of the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority, said: “We, as members, want to know more and the only way to do that is to go out to the public and give everyone an opportunity to come forward with their ideas.”

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is considering closing or removing a number of low risk/low activity fire stations and fire engines, and reinvesting the savings into prevention work in the community.

Chief Fire Officer Lee Howell said: “Even with a very quick response, sometimes we arrive too late. The best way to improve public safety is to increase our prevention work and stop fires from happening in the first place.”

The proposals would allow the service to move its resources from areas of low risk to areas where they are most needed.

The changes are also intended to address difficulties with recruiting on-call firefighters and the historical location of fire stations which means that some are now in the wrong place to meet the risk in those communities.

The public are invited to take part in the consultation from July 1 to September 20, 2019.

There will be a number of ways in which the public can give their views, including a series of public drop-in exhibitions. Further information has been published on the website www.dsfire.gov.uk.

The options are:

Option 1 - Station closures at Appledore, Ashburton, Budleigh Salterton, Colyton, Kingston, Porlock, Topsham, Woolacombe

Option 2 - Station closures listed in option 1, plus removal of third fire engines at Bridgwater, Taunton, Torquay and Yeovil

Option 3 - Option 2, plus removal of second fire engines at Crediton, Lynton, Martock and Totnes

Option 4 - Option 3, plus change of status to day crewing at Barnstaple, Exmouth and Paignton

Option 5 - Option 4, plus change of status of second fire engine to on-call at night only at Brixham, Chard, Dartmouth, Frome, Honiton, Ilfracombe, Okehampton, Sidmouth, Tavistock, Teignmouth, Tiverton, Wellington, Wells and Williton

Option 6 - Option 5, plus the introduction of day crewed roving fire engines for targeted response and additional prevention work