Retained firefighters face axe

Retained firefighters at Chorley Fire Station, who face redundancy under the controversial review

Retained firefighters at Chorley Fire Station, who face redundancy under the controversial review

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Firefighters face redundancy after proposals from the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

The proposals were discussed last Tuesday at a meeting at the town hall which was also open to the general public, who were able to air their views.

The retained fire service members based at Chorley’s Weldbank Lane station face the axe in a cost-cutting action that, according to fire service bosses, will benefit the town.

The retained service would lose their jobs in the 2015/16 cuts.

Currently the retained fire service respond to emergencies in under five minutes, while the wholetime crew, based at the new Chorley Community Fire Station, Euxton, instantly respond.

But the loss of the retained crew will see a second wholetime crew join at the Community Fire Station.

This will be a specialist Urban Search and Rescue Team.

The team specialises in motorway crashes involving lorries, gas explosions and building collapses.

The Urban Search and Rescue fire engines have specialist equipment that no other fire engines have.

Other options to redundancy were offered at the meeting.

Steve Blackledge, crew manager , thinks there are ways around the potential redundancies.

He said: “Maybe the service could look to keep us on in different ways rather than make redundancies.

“Something that we have an idea of is that we could work in tandem with the wholetime crew, where they attend straight away and once the fire has been put out we could then take over and help, allowing the crew to work on any other incidents.”

Chris Kenny, chief fire officer at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said there there were positives to the proposed changes.

He said: “The changes we propose ensure that we are better able to reach all parts of Chorley. particularly following the growth around the Buckshaw Village area in recent years.

“Moving the Urban Search and Rescue vehicles and expertise to use them on site at Chorley Community Fire Station too will improve the search and rescue service that we currently provide.”