Fire plan sparks petition

CAMPAIGNERS are submitting a 1,200 name petition against the proposed removal of a fire engine from Shirebrook station over fears the decision could cost lives.

Ray Holmes, of Save Shirebrook’s Fire Engine group, was shocked to learn Derbyshire fire service was planning to remove one of Shirebrook’s two engines as part of an efficiency drive with similar plans for three other county stations.

Mr Holmes, of Pear Tree Estate, in the town, said: “You don’t improve safety by removing appliances needed to keep the station going.

“If there are multiple incidents then someone will die because response times from other stations in Chesterfield or Mansfield to our town will take longer than the expected 12 minutes outlined by the fire service.”

The fire service argued at a public meeting that research showed the county only needs 38 appliances and currently operates with 42.

They stated with back up from other stations, Shirebrook’s part-time, retained station did not need a second engine and its removal would not put lives at risk.

But Mr Holmes argued the research had not considered Shirebrook residents are affected by low income and health problems which makes them more vulnerable and he believes the proposal is a money-saving cutback.

But the fire service said there was no “cuts agenda” and savings would go back into its budget.

Campaigners aim to submit objections with their petition to the service on Thursday and are urging those with concerns to write to the fire service before its public consultation deadline on Monday.

The fire service is proposing to remove second engines from Clay Cross, Ashbourne and Buxton’s part-time, retained stations.

It stated there would be no job losses for Shirebrook, Clay Cross and Ashbourne but plans could affect roles at Buxton.

Others with concerns include Mansfield Save Our Services, Chesterfield Coalition Against Cuts and the Fire Brigades Union.

Deputy chief fire officer Andy Waldie, of Derbyshire fire service, said concerns from the consultation would be considered at a Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Authority meeting in September.

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