Fired up to fight

Buxton Fire station, with one of the pumps, crash tender and water carrier
Buxton Fire station, with one of the pumps, crash tender and water carrier

PEOPLE in the High Peak are being urged to vote with their feet to show their opposition to proposed cuts to Buxton’s fire service cover.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service are currently consulting on plans to cut the town’s second fire engine, leading to the loss of up to five “on-call” or retained firefighters.

And the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), which is strongly against the cuts, wants people in the High Peak to turn out in force to a public meeting in Buxton next month and make their opposition known.

Gary Mitchell, FBU regional secretary, said: “These fire engines provide the local community with essential night time fire cover.

“Government figures clearly show that the risk of fire death is at its height between the hours of midnight and 6am.

“Quite a lot of the second appliances act like a support pump, especially at night for dwelling fires and things like that so it will mean extra distance to travel to get to incidents.

“The big concern in Buxton is that there’s also potential job losses at Buxton Fire Station so it is a double edged sword.

“It is going to be a political decision at the end of the day but what we want to do is say ‘these are your fire engines in Buxton so you need to be telling your councillors and chief fire officers what you think’.

“The local elections are coming up so one question people should be asking of the local candidates is ‘what do you think about the fire service cuts and cuts to fire engines?’ We need people to nail their colours to the mast and vote with their feet by going to the meeting.”

A three-month public consultation on the plans began on April 11 and the FBU will be campaigning in Buxton to highlight to members of the public the risks that the reductions in fire cover will have on their communities. There will also be a leaflet drop by the FBU in the first week of May.

The public meeting takes place on Monday May 16 at the Dome, University of Derby, Buxton, at 6.30pm.