Fire service to answer questions on Matlock station staffing changes

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue representatives will be taking questions on the future of Matlock fire station this week.
Derbyshire Fire & Rescue representatives will be taking questions on the future of Matlock fire station this week.

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Authority will be in Matlock this week to talk to the public about potential changes affecting the service.

Representatives for the authority will be at Park Head in Hall Leys Park, on Friday, January 12, 9am to 1.30pm, to answer questions about staffing at Matlock Fire Station.

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Authority chief executive Terry McDermott.

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Authority chief executive Terry McDermott.

On December 8, service leaders launched a consultation regarding plans to reorganise duty systems at Matlock and Glossop in an effort to meet a budget shortfall of £1.6million for 2019/20.

Chief Fire Officer Terry McDermott said: “Our communities’ opinions on these proposals matter to us, and will be fed into the final decision making process.

“I’d therefore encourage everyone to have their say, especially people living and working in and around Glossop and Matlock, either by taking the time to visit one of our public engagement events, or getting involved online.”

The consultation was launched after data and performance analysis raised questions over the cost effectiveness of the two stations’ current operational model.

Recent years have seen a shift in emphasis for the fire service, with more work done to reduce risks in the community meaning a fall in the number of incidents crews are required to attend.

Service leaders say this means staffing patterns often leave stations with more personnel available in hours where demand is lowest.

The consultation has laid out three options to change the duty systems, but the Fire Brigades Union has warned that any of the changes could increase risks to public safety.

Matlock and Glossop are both currently on a system called Day Crewing, where full time firefighters provide an immediate response between 6am and 8pm each day.

Outside of these hours, the same personnel provide response cover on-call from home.

The proposals could see a reduction in the number of full-time firefighters based at the stations, but the authority is keen to stress this would not result in redundancies.

A further public consultation event is scheduled to take place on January 26 at the Market Place in Glossop.

Full details of the consultation are being sent to residents by post, and are also available at www.derbys-fire.gov.uk.