One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Cuts To Cambs Fire Service
Cambridgeshire Fire Service has outlined where more than £4 million worth of cuts may be made.
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service needs to save the money over the next four years because of a reduction in government funding.
Yesterday, the Cambridgeshire Fire Authority agreed to look at ten particular areas where services may be cut.
The Fire Service will now look in detail at each of the following cuts and changes, to determine if they are feasible to make.
*Changing Huntingdon Fire Station from a station that is currently crewed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to a station that is just crewed in the day and operated by retained (part-time) firefighters at night, which is the model currently used in Ely, St Neots and Wisbech.
*Reviewing fire engines that attend fewer than 120 calls a year, and taking away the most under-used vehicles.
*Reviewing the structure of non-operational roles.
*Reviewing special appliances, such as turntable ladders, water carriers and rescue vehicles to see if they are all still necessary.
*Reviewing Ely, St Neots and Wisbech fire stations, which are all crewed during the day, to see if a different way of operating them would produce savings.
*Merging Dogsthorpe and Stanground Fire Stations in Peterborough.
*Changing Stanground Fire Station from one that is crewed 24/7 to one that is staffed in a different way.
*Seeing if a second fire engine based at Cambridge Fire Station is still necessary.
*Establishing if more firefighters should be stationed at March Fire Station.
*A review of administration teams based at fire stations across Cambridgeshire.
No final decisions have yet been made, and the above ideas will now be reviewed to see if they are feasible.
Graham Stagg, Chief Fire Officer for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "With cuts of this scale, there are no easy decisions to be made.
This is why we are taking the time to explore all of our options thoroughly before making any decisions.
We do not want to be having to make these decisions but like other public sector organisations, we have little choice.
Whatever happens, we will do everything possible to prevent the cuts from having a significant impact on our service to the public."
Confirmation of some of the changes is expected in around April this year.
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