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Could Chesterfield - a town with a history of flooding - lose its water rescue unit?

Chesterfield could lose its water rescue unit.
Chesterfield could lose its water rescue unit.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has said the town's fire station should keep its water rescue unit.

Mr Perkins made the comment after Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) launched consultations on plans to remove the units from Chesterfield and Matlock while retaining them at Buxton and Derby.

The proposals would also see the aerial ladder platform (ALP) removed from Buxton. The ALPs based at Chesterfield and Ascot Drive would remain.

Mr Perkins said: "A town the size of Chesterfield, and with our history of flooding, should be supported by at least one water rescue unit.

"The floods of 2007 are still very prominent in many of my constituents' memories and they will understandably be concerned that appropriate support won’t be on hand if we have worse flooding in the future.

"I am, of course, pleased that Chesterfield will still have an aerial ladder platform ALP, which can be vital for saving lives in blocks of flats and taller buildings.

"In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire and other serious incidents, I think it is short-sighted and concerning that we are reducing the availability of ALPs in Derbyshire or anywhere in the country.

"I will once again contact the Government to object to the cuts to fire and rescue budgets, which are forcing the authority to make these tough decisions on where to cut resources.

"This is another case of Tory austerity putting lives at risk."

Dave Crowther, area manager at DFRS, said: "In line with providing an efficient and effective emergency service, a comprehensive review of the specialist response provision across Derbyshire identified an over-provision of ALPs and water rescue units in the county.

"The review considered many factors, including the number of times ALPs and water rescue units were used at incidents, alongside the risks within Derbyshire.

"As an outcome of the review, the service is now seeking views on the three proposals that are out for consultation."

DFRS said the plans would not impact on firefighter numbers across the county or lead to redundancies.

The consultations run until July 14. For more information and to have your say, visit www.derbys-fire.gov.uk/have-your-say