Morecambe’s on-call firefighters to be trained to drive aerial ladder platforms in county shake-up
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In its annual service plan for 2023/24, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service announced plans to invest in training on-call firefighters at Hyndburn and Morecambe fire stations to drive aerial ladder platforms.
Lancashire has 32 fire appliances crewed by on-call firefighters, who often have another job outside the service.
They are trained to deal with a wide range of incidents and work alongside wholetime firefighters, responding to emergencies in their communities from home or work.
Broadening the range of skills and knowledge among on-call crews will strengthen operational response and resilience, the report says.
The move will also see a dedicated leadership role created to support the on-call duty system and deliver improvements in recruitment, retention, and fire engine availability.
Chief Fire Officer Justin Johnston said their purpose was "to make Lancashire safer by preventing fires and other emergencies from happening, protecting people and property when they do, and responding to emergencies quickly and competently".
He said: "Our staff are central to achieving this and making a difference in communities. We are focused on creating opportunities for people in all roles to thrive and building a workplace where diversity is nurtured and valued.
“We remain committed to investing in equipment, training, and development, so they can deliver the best possible services. A programme of significant, long-term investment in training facilities will continue this year as we build new drill towers at four fire stations and improve training props at our training centre.
"The service will also start to implement improvements to how we respond to emergencies, following an emergency cover review and public consultation in 2022.
"This work will strengthen our response to changing risks in communities and will lead to an increase in the number of wholetime firefighters employed. We are also creating opportunities for on-call firefighters to broaden their skills.
"Two new water towers and our highest reach aerial ladder platform to date will join our fleet to strengthen firefighting and rescue capabilities in high-rise and commercial buildings.”