D-day for 24/7 fire station in Spalding

PROPOSALS for Spalding Fire Station to become staffed 24 hours a day will be decided upon by councillors on Tuesday.

The station on West Elloe Avenue is one of nine to have been identified by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue as being key to improving emergency response times in a countywide shake-up of the service.

A 12-week public consultation has already been carried out and now Lincolnshire County Council’s Executive committee will have the final say.

Councillors are being asked to approve a number of recommendations, including the service’s priorities for 2012/13, to increase training time from an average of two hours to three hours per week for retained firefighters and to increase the number of 24-hour staffed stations from two to nine.

The final recommendation would see Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue cut the number of hydraulic platforms in use from three to two.

As reported in our sister paper the Lincolnshire Free Press last September, Spalding’s station would be crewed by full-time firefighters 11 hours each day, with a shift also on-call overnight.

Full-time stations are also in the pipeline for Boston, Grantham, Skegness, Louth, Sleaford and Gainsborough. Stations at Lincoln North and Lincoln South would remain full-time.

No retained fire stations are due to close but some retained firefighter jobs may be lost over the next two to three years.

The report being considered by Executive says the “spine” of full-time stations has been identified by analysing historical data on incidents where people have died in fires or road traffic accidents.

Data for fires in 2010/11 for the Spalding area shows the first pump on the scene managed to meet the ten-minute target time on ten out of 16 occasions (62.5 per cent). Bosses estimate that would rise to 87.5 per cent under the new plans.

The report concludes: “Following the consultation process it is clear that all four proposals are supported by those individuals and groups that have responded.”