Cambs Fire Cuts

Recommendations to make £4.2 million pounds of savings at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service could include cutting jobs and fire engines.

The service needs to save the money during the next four years after a reduction in government funding.

A number of feasibility studies have now been carried out, each looking at potential money saving measures.

The recommendations from senior managers, which will be considered by the Cambridgeshire Fire Authority on Thursday 26th May, include:

  • The Service should commence negotiations with the Fire Brigades Union with a view to implementing a revised shift system that is based on either three 8-hour shifts or a five watch shift system.
  • Senior Management Team should commence a full review of non operational support services in order to identify and realise £1 million of savings over and above the £1,600,000 already identified.
  • The Operational Support Unit should be removed from operational service with immediate effect (this is based at March and currently provides refreshments to crews at protracted incidents).
  • As soon as practicably possible, the Service should reduce the number of Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Units in operational service to one Unit, that will be sited at St Neots fire station (currently one at St Neots and one at Stanground).
  • The Turntable Ladder sited at Dogsthorpe should be removed from service as soon as practicable and the Turntable ladder sited at Cambridge should be removed from service by the end of 2011.
  • Subject to the production of a full business case and implementation plan, the Rescue Vehicle at Huntingdon should be removed from Service as soon as practicable.
  • The Service should conduct a review to determine whether the Rescue Vehicle at Dogsthorpe should be re-sited at Stanground Fire Station in order to provide better operational cover across the authority area.
  • Subject to the production of a full business case and implementation plan, the Wholetime crewing system at Huntingdon Fire Station should be converted to a Day Crewed Plus system as soon as practicable.
  • Subject to the production of a full business case and implementation plan, Manea appliance, St Ives second appliance, and Ramsey second appliance should be removed from operational service as soon as practicable.
  • The Service should carry out further in-depth analysis on a case by case basis to determine whether some or all of the following appliances could be removed from service without creating a significant impact on the operational resilience of the Service: Soham second appliance, Ely second appliance, Burwell appliance, Thorney appliance and Gamlingay appliance.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland said: "Our recommendations will mean a reduction in staff, both support staff and operational firefighters.

We are hoping a lot of the staff reductions can be done through natural wastage and voluntary redundancy, however, we know that there will be some compulsory redundancies.

This is not something we take lightly and none of us want to be in the position of having to do this, but it is the only way we can find the savings.

We have written to all staff who are potentially affected by the recommendations and if the Fire Authority agreed the proposals, we will ensure staff receive every possible support."

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