Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

August 07, 2011 19:01 ET

Station Closures Could Threaten Public Safety

WEST MIDLANDS, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Aug. 7, 2011) - The Fire Brigades Union in the West Midlands is totally opposed to the proposed closures and planned merger of Halesowen and Cradley Heath Fire Stations.

The public consultation will only be for one month.

The public and local businesses will only be consulted on the change in the original plans from 2009- which is to have one fire engine at the new station instead of two.

Yesterday, West Midlands Fire Service indicated that, it may use a different type of vehicle with a crew of 2 or 3 to cover the combined areas of Halesowen and Cradley Heath.

This will not be the same as the fire engine that the public usually associate with the Fire Brigade.

It takes at least two fully staffed fire engines to safely deal with a house fire or road traffic collision.

Furthermore they cannot confirm whether or not the new station will provide 24 hour cover as they do now.

This fundamentally changes the consultation that took place in 2009.

The FBU are gravely concerned that attendance times could further increase, which will be in addition to the extra minute on arrival times at an incident which has occurred over the past 10 years.

FBU Brigade Secretary Andy Dennis said, "It's now clear that the public and businesses will have to wait a lot longer for the fire service to arrive to safely and quickly deal with a fire or other emergency in their areas.

The public have also been mislead by the original consultation in 2009 when they were clearly told that there would be 2 fire engines at the new station.

Already in West Midlands fire Service this year there have been cuts to staffing levels on fire stations with the loss of 96 frontline jobs. The number of firefighters available to crew fire engines for immediate callout has been reduced to dangerous levels.

This is another attack on frontline firefighters in the West Midlands because of the savage cut in funding from the Government. This loss of posts is in total opposition to the Government promise of NO CUTS to frontline public services.

We urge the public and business community to voice their concerns and attend the public consultation meetings taking place in September, speak to their Politicians and councillors and vehemently oppose these cuts to frontline services."

Notes

Public consultation starts on the 15th of August and ends on the 12th of September.

There are 2 public meetings planned:

The first meeting will take place on the 1st September 2011 at Lutley Community Centre, 31 Brookwillow Road, Halesowen, B63 1BU from 18:00 until 20:00.

The second meeting will take place on the 2nd September 2011 at Reddal Hill Primary School, Trinity Street, Cradley Heath, B64 6HT from 18:00 until 20:00.

Contact Information

  • FBU
    Andy Dennis
    Brigade Secretary
    07827 300036

    FBU
    Chris Downes
    Regional Secretary
    07827 300034