Protest from Down Under over threat to town fire service

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A former fire commander rang the Advertiser from Australia to add his voice to concerns about the proposal to axe Buxton’s fire appliance manned by part-time firefighters.

Richard Clark, who was in charge of the retained fire appliance from 1988 to 2003, said that his crew had been a vital part of the service in town – and on many occasions may well have been the difference between life and death in an emergency.

He completely supported the Fire Brigades Union’s claims in last week’s edition that a decision to cut the appliance would undermine safety in the town.

“The people of Buxton and High Peak are at serious risk,” said Mr Clark, who emigrated to Western Australia.

“If there’s a serious house fire in Buxton and you don’t have that second vehicle in Buxton, you will have to wait for one from Whaley Bridge or New Mills to attend.”

And with Buxton’s weather, that could mean a fatal delay, he said.

Derbyshire firefighters were expected yesterday (Wednesday) to join colleagues from across the region to attend meetings organised by the Fire Brigades Union at which FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack will lead a debate highlighting what he called the savage attack on the fire and rescue services.

Members will decide how the FBU can respond on behalf of firefighters and the public to defend the service, which is held in such high regard.

The FBU General Secretary will be discussing why it is so important that firefighters are at the forefront when defending all public services.