The Fire Brigades Union warns that Tuesday 16 October will be a sad day for Felixstowe as councillors seem poised to agree the permanent cut of immediate, full time fire cover at the fire station.
On the 16th of October, Suffolk County Council Cabinet will meet and are expected to agree the decision to remove the immediate full-time emergency response capability in Felixstowe.
Only four firefighters will remain on station until at least 2014, but they will only assist the on-call firefighters in raising a crew. On-call firefighters do a tremendous job but they are inevitably delayed in responding to 999 calls. On-call firefighters live and work away from the fire station and must stop what they are doing to make their way through traffic and weather to the fire station before they can climb aboard the fire engine to respond to emergencies. A slower response to 999 calls in Felixstowe is inevitable.
No matter how this decision will be portrayed; it is the end of Suffolk County Council providing full-time (and therefore guaranteed) immediate fire service cover within the town.
Andy Vingoe, chair of Suffolk FBU said:
â€œItâ€™s the end for Felixstowe. Everyone in the fire service knows this is a foregone conclusion. The councillors will inevitably pass the recommendation, and Felixstowe as a community will undoubtedly suffer. We were told by the government, â€˜no front-line cutsâ€™ but how much more front-line can you get? This move is bad for business, it is bad for residents, and it is bad for visitors, all of which will wait longer for a fire engine when they desperately need one.â€
Andy Vingoe 07967 041039