Essex: No Fire Redundancies In 2012

A top Essex firefighter has been telling Heart what Essex Fire Service has planned for 2012.

Deputy Fire Chief Adam Eckley said there will be no redundancies or station closures in the coming year despite the service "facing a challenging financial future."

However he promised changes will be made to give Essex taxpayers "a better deal" which will include a sharing of resources between services across the county.

Mr Eckley said: "We look to extend the considerable range of property sharing initiatives we've got with Essex Police, Essex County Council and Essex Probation Service where we're using properties owned and managed by the fire service for other organisations to deliver their services through.

"This year we've got a shared service arrangement at Tiptree Fire Station and West Mersea Fire Station and we look forward to next year where we'll introduce that to Brightlingsea as well. We share that with police and they deliver their service through our properties and we look to other areas where we can deliver that in 2012.

Mr Eckley said another example of sharing resources is the First Responders scheme which will see specially-trained firefighters attending to heart attack victims in local communities.

"Our staff can hopefully intervene earlier than resources coming from outside the area, using our mobilising arrangements to benefit the tax payer of Essex and provide a better service for the public."

The scheme is currently being piloted in Coggeshall and Newport Fire Stations and it is hoped the local knowledge of the firefighters will help them get to victims quicker than a team from outside the area.

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