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Plans to reduce night time fire services in Surrey

st peters fire

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 12:45pm 4th March 2019. (Updated at 12:22pm 5th March 2019)

A consultation has been launched by Surrey County Council which proposes reducing the number of fire engines available at night time in the county.

The 'Making Surrey Safer' plan is a document that has been released today, setting out the county council's plans for 2020-2023.

It follows last year's inspection from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, which highlighted that Surrey Fire and Rescue Service are not doing enough to protect people or prevent emergencies from happening.

The council is also looking into charging people for call-outs to incidents that are not emergencies. This would include false reports of fires (hoax calls & automatic fire alarms that aren’t real) and animal rescues.

Money raised from this would be re-invested into prevention activity through the community safety service, with firefighters going into schools, colleges, workplaces, homes and support groups to help people with “lifelong” safety.

Changes to night time services are being proposed in the Banstead, Camberley, Egham, Fordbridge, Guildford, Haslemere, Painshill, Walton and Woking areas.

Banstead, Egham and Painshill currently have night time cover, but new plans are proposing to take that away.

Meanwhile, night time cover will remain in Camberley, Fordbridge, Guildford and Woking, but will be reduced.

Here's what is being proposed:

Proposals


 

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service says it needs 20 fire engines during the day and 16 at night to keep the county safe.

The new plans would see a total of two more over the weekends, but seven less over night. It would stay the same during day time.

figures

 

Acting Chief Fire Officer for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, Steve Owen-Hughes said:

"Our plan is all about bringing firefighters closer to the communities we serve to help prevent emergencies and keep people safe, especially the most vulnerable in our society.

“By keeping the same number of fire stations and fire engines as we have now but crewing some of them differently at night, when there is less call on us, we’ll be able to do more life-saving prevention work and staff training, to make sure our crews are ready to help when needed.

"This will help us make the best use of our resources – we’d still have the fire cover we need to keep Surrey safe during the day and night but we’d be able to step up our community safety work to prevent emergencies in the first place. And when we do need to respond, we want to do so as quickly as possible, so we’re taking steps such as reducing the time it takes between a call coming in and our firefighters leaving the station."

Fire

 

The need to modernise the way the response service is measured is highlighted in the Making Surrey Safer Plan. It says current measures are 'outdated' and do not necessarily take account of a range and changing types of emergencies, the development of our rural and urban areas and the changes in road infrastructure.

Full details on the plan can be seen on the Surrey County Council website.

The public consultation is running until 26 May 2019. You can have your say here.

 

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