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19 February 2014, 12:00
Cambridgeshire fire brigade are refusing to rescue people stuck in lifts - unless they have been trapped for more than three hours.
Cambridge Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) has forked out tens of thousands of pounds prying hundreds of people out of faulty lifts.
Bosses say companies should have their own provisions to rescue people in case of a lift breaking down.
Now firefighters will only be sent if people have been stuck for more than three hours and will not use their flashing lights or sirens.
Companies will also be charged £362 for the call out and a £90 top up for every 15 minutes after the first hour.
Neil Newberry, Assistant Chief Fire Officer at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "The policy approved by members provides a clear outline of how we will respond to incidents involving persons trapped in lifts. We will be writing to those premises to make them aware that we will now only respond immediately to incidents where there is a risk to life.
"The onus is on the business owners to ensure that their lifts are well maintained to limit the potential for faults to occur, as well as making sure that if their lift does break down, they have robust plans in place to rescue anyone trapped.
"The policy has been changed so we can ensure our operational resources are only committed to emergency situations."