Petition launched over night time staffing at fire station

December 22 2016

FIREFIGHTERS are urging people to join their campaign against cuts which will affect the staffing of Yate fire station.

FIREFIGHTERS are urging people to join their campaign against cuts which will affect the staffing of Yate fire station.

As reported in last month’s Yate and Sodbury Voice, there are plans to only have full-time crews on duty at the station during the daytime, with on-call retained staff to be relied on to provide cover at night. 

The change is among a number of proposals drawn up by Avon Fire and Rescue, which has to find ways of saving £5 million a year up to 2020 due to a cut in the central government grant it receives.

But the Fire Brigades Union in Avon claimed the plans were “dangerous” and asked people to help get them reversed.

The union said the cuts would mean the loss of 49 fire fighter jobs, as well as removal of full-time cover at night from Yate fire station.

It said proposals further included cutting the immediate response of aerial appliances used for rescues and firefighting in high rise buildings, while also ending 24/7 availability of specially trained firefighters to crew a heavy rescue 19-tonne truck that attends serious motorway crashes.

Gary Spindler, chairman of the union’s Avon branch, said: “These are untenable, dangerous cuts to the frontline fire service in Avon.

“The cuts being proposed would have a severe impact on our ability to respond effectively and promptly to these incidents. The public will not be safe.

“Every second counts in an emergency. These cuts would mean that response times at night in Yate would increase to a dangerous level.”

Yate station used to have full-timers on duty only in the day and retained crews on call at night until 2009, when full-timers were brought in around the clock in response to an anticipated growing need for its services in the expanding town.

But that predicted increase has not materialised and the greater housing development in the area has not had any significant effect on the demand for fire and rescue services.

Anyone who wants to make a comment about the service’s proposals must do so by December 31 via the Avon Fire and Rescue website.