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Cuts to Suffolk Fire Service Approved
Its been confirmed that cuts to some of our fire service are going ahead.
At a big meeting at Suffolk County Council today cost-cutting measures were approved -
That means changes to some services in Suffolk -
and us taking more responsibility for safety in our homes.
Here are the proposals that got the go-ahead....
Proposal 1: Full-time Firefighter Shift Review
This proposal is intended to make savings by changing the way firefighters' shifts are organised.
Proposal 2: Reduction in flexible duty officer posts
Flexible duty officers are operational personnel who have a day-to-day managerial role and, in addition to this, fulfil a Command and Control function at larger operational incidents. There are currently 30 flexible duty officers and the proposal is to reduce the number of these posts by two, to 28.
Proposal 3: Reduction in Prevention and Protection functions
Prevention and protection is about stopping fires and accidents happening in the first place and providing fire safety advice to people in their homes and commercial buildings. A number of staff is currently employed to manage these functions and this proposal will see the number of such posts reduced.
Proposal 4: On-Call Fire Station Support
This proposal will remove funding for firefighters to be paid additional money to provide support for on-call fire stations.
Proposal 5: Haverhill Fire Station
The proposal is to change the crewing arrangement at Haverhill fire station from one where firefighter cover is provided between 8am and 6pm seven days a week by full time firefighters, to one where full time firefighter cover is provided between these times for five days a week - Monday to Friday. On-call firefighters would support their full time colleagues Monday to Friday during the day and provide all the emergency cover at nights and at weekends.
Proposal 6: Ipswich Aerial Appliance
The proposal is to change the crewing of the aerial appliance at Colchester Road fire station from one where emergency cover is provided by a dedicated crew of two firefighters, to one where firefighters will 'switch crew' between two fire appliances - depending on which of the two is needed for a particular emergency. This will reduce the number of firefighters on each of the four watches from ten to seven firefighters, an overall reduction of 12 firefighter posts.
Proposal 7: Felixstowe Fire Station
The proposal would lead to several, staged changes to crewing arrangements at Felixstowe fire station.The first change would involve adjusting crewing arrangements from the current system where firefighter cover is provided between 8am and 6pm seven days a week by full time firefighters, to one where full time firefighter cover is provided between these times for five days a week - Monday to Friday. On-call firefighters would support their full time colleagues Monday to Friday during the day and provide all the emergency cover at nights and at weekends.
The impact of this first change would be assessed after one year, at which point a decision would be taken on whether it would be appropriate to reduce the number of full time firefighers further. Beyond these first two proposed changes, no decision to remove full time firefighters from Felixstowe completely would be taken without a further, public consultation.
Six of the final proposals are as they were set out during the public consultation, albeit with a number of additional recommendations - made by the cross party working group of councillors set up to oversee the process - to aid their implementation.
The seventh proposal relating to Felixstowe Fire Station has been altered from its original form, following public consultation.
Andy Fry is the chief Fire officer for Suffolk and worked with the council on the consultation...
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