The Fire Brigades Union has huge concerns for retained fire stations as they suggest cutting numbers on traditional fire engines from five to four.
The move is part of a package of proposals in the draft Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) which was presented to the county council’s community safety and waste management cabinet panel in November.
It also includes plans to trial the replacement of some fire engines with 4×4 type ‘rapid response’ vehicles and others with ‘intermediate’ response vehicles.
According to Brigade chair for Hertfordshire Derek MacLeod said says it would have an impact on the fire station in Kings Langley, which operates the retained duty system.
He said: “It will have an impact on the supporting stations; there are seven key proposals to see if we can improve them. They are very aspirational and very hard to understand. Do people think the station is under threat of closure or staff cuts?”
Kings Langley is a one pump station crewed by on call firefighters. The station availability was the lowest in Hertfordshire in 2012 at 67.8 per cent. In that period the crew attended 72 calls, 57 of them were outside the stations area.
He added: “They aren’t closing kings Langley but we need to recruit more and we need more firefighters on duty. That proposal to reduce us from five to four makes us less safe. We have safety offers who help keep us safe and the public. Due to chronic shortages we’re often running on four anyway. It’s hardly likely to see and staff on a full-time role to go down there.
“The challenges that we’ve got to work on fire station in kings Langley are that it’s a commuter village – many of the villagers work elsewhere. So when they come back from London having a flexible contract sounds reasonable but I can’t tell you if that solution is going to be any good because there’s no detail.
“We would like to see the staffing increased as that is what the tax payer is paying for. We would rather see £2million pounds of extra funding than £2.2million less.”