Colyton fire station may close under new proposals

PUBLISHED: 08:43 20 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:23 20 June 2019

Sidmouth Fire Station is not at risk at closure but changes could be made to staffing. Picture: DSFR

Sidmouth Fire Station is not at risk at closure but changes could be made to staffing. Picture: DSFR

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Major changes are being planned to the way Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service operates

Colyton fire station could close under changes being considered by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.

The way the service operates across the two counties could undergo its most significant change for 50 years under new proposals announced yesterday (Wednesday, June 19).

Changes could also affect the way fire appliances are crewed at Honiton and Chard.

At Colyton a petition has been launched to fight any possible closure plans and is available to sign at https://bit.ly/2N0DyZn By this morning (Thursday, June 20) almost 300 had already signed it.

Fire chiefs say some stations attend only a handful of fires each year and have more resources than they need. Elsewhere, more resources are needed to improve the response the service can provide.

A spokesman said: "The risk has changed in the service area with new housing developments and new road networks in place but most of our fire stations are in the same place they were 50 years ago. We need to ensure our fire stations and fire engines are located to be in the right place to meet the demand.

"Importantly, rather than just responding to emergencies when they have occurred from the existing fire stations, the Service has outlined an option that puts in place six additional wholetime crewed fire engines during the day that will move to where the risk is highest. Sometimes, these will be located in urban areas and sometimes they will be located in rural areas - the service will use data to inform where emergencies are most likely to occur and will try to be in the right place at the right time to improve response as a result.

"To fund these changes, the service will need to consider closing a number of low risk/low activity fire stations, removal of low risk/low activity fire engines and make some other changes to the way in which some fire engines are crewed."

Now six options for change will be presented to the Fire Authority. They are:

Option 1 - the closure of eight stations including Colyton.

Option 2 - Station closures and the removal of third appliances from, several stations.

Option 3 - Station closures, removal of third and second appliances

Option 4 - Station closures, removal of third and second appliances and change of status to day crewing

Option 5 - Station closures, removal of third and second appliances, change of status to day crewing and to on-call at night only, the latter applying to Honiton and Chard.

Option 6 - Station closures, removal of third and second appliances, change of status to day crewing, on-call at night only and introduction of day crewed roving appliances

The proposals will be considered by members of the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority next week. Should the authority agree, the proposals will then go forward for a 12 week public consultation from July 1 to September 20.

There will be a number of ways in which the public can give their views, including a series of public drop-in exhibitions. Further information has been published on the website www.dsfire.gov.uk.

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