When The Going Gets Tough Billy Ocean
11 October 2013, 06:03
Plans to merge two of Cambridgeshire's fire stations have been given the final seal of approval.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority agreed at a meeting this week to close Swaffham Bulbeck Fire Station and relocate the firefighters to join the existing crew in Burwell, once a new fire station has been built.
Members made their decision following a public consultation held earlier in the year about the amalgamation of the two East Cambridgeshire stations.
Planning permission has already been granted to create a larger purpose built fire station with a state of the art training facility, parking and community facilities at the land adjacent to the current Burwell Fire Station.
All five staff currently at Swaffham Bulbeck are eligible to transfer to the combined crew at Burwell, which would improve fire cover arrangements meaning the fire appliance will be available to respond to 999 emergencies for more of the time.
Chris Strickland, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, said: "Swaffham Bulbeck is no longer a viable fire station.
"The creation of one combined fire station has always been a long term plan as it is not feasible to bring either Swaffham or Burwell stations up to modern day standards, or to provide a proper practical training facility.
"Owing to the close proximity of the stations, there is an opportunity to actively make this decision that will retain valuable members of staff. By pulling these two crews together, we are putting them in the best location to deliver a better service to the community."