Lancaster Fire Station could lose half its staff

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Lancaster Fire Station could lose half of its 48 firefighters as part of a review of emergency cover.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service says it must save £5m following Government cuts.And it is proposing to save £1m by removing one of Lancaster’s two fire engines from 2017/18.

The service says it may replace the fire engine with one crewed by retained firefighters who have other full-time jobs but with the flexibility to attend call outs. But it says even that would depend on recruiting sufficient staff.

A spokesman said: “As the second fire engine at Lancaster is one of the least active wholetime fire engines in the county and with incident numbers decreasing each year in the area, this proposal will save us £1m whilst maintaining the risk levels.”

The spokesman added that if there were two incidents in Lancaster at the same time, an engine could be sent from Morecambe or elsewhere.

Figures show that the number of incidents attended by Lancaster Fire Station fell from 1,330 in 2010/11 to 795 in 2011/12 and 623 in 2012/13.

The Fire Brigades Union says 160 full-time officers and five fire engines would be lost in Lancashire over four years if the cuts go ahead.

Its secretary Steve Harman said: “These cuts are going to put the public at risk and firefighters at more risk.

“Despite promises by the Government that they wouldn’t touch the frontline, these cuts will dramatically affect that frontline.”

A 12-week consultation on the plans ends on October 20.