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28 June 2019, 16:48 | Updated: 28 June 2019, 16:54
Controversial plans on the future of the fire service in Devon and Somerset will go out to public consultation at a meeting of the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority on Friday 28 June.
Members agreed to approve the options for consultation but with an amendment to ensure that the consultation process allows the public to comment on elements of the proposals.
Cllr Sara Randall-Johnson, Chair of the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority, said: “We, as members, want to know more and the only way to do that is to go out to the public and give everyone an opportunity to come forward with their ideas.”
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is considering closing or removing a number of low risk/low activity fire stations and fire engines, and reinvesting the savings into prevention work in the community.
Chief Fire Officer Lee Howell said: “Even with a very quick response, sometimes we arrive too late. The best way to improve public safety is to increase our prevention work and stop fires from happening in the first place.”
The proposals would allow the Service to move its resources from areas of low risk to areas where they are most needed.
The changes are also intended to address difficulties with recruiting on-call firefighters and the historical location of fire stations which means that some are now in the wrong place to meet the risk in those communities.
The public are invited to take part in the consultation from 1 July to 20 September 2019.
There will be a number of ways in which the public can give their views, including a series of public drop-in exhibitions. Further information has been published on the website www.dsfire.gov.uk.