High Peak MP launches petition to save vital fire service equipment

Ruth George MP is campaigning to keep the Aerial Ladder Platform at Buxton Fire Station
Ruth George MP is campaigning to keep the Aerial Ladder Platform at Buxton Fire Station

A final push has been launched to save the Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP) used by firefighters in the High Peak.

The area’s MP, Ruth George, has been campaigning to save it since Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service announced in the summer it was looking to withdraw the vehicle from Buxton.

Now with just days before the county’s Fire Authority meets to make a decision on its future, Mrs George is calling on residents to show their support to keep the ALP at the town’s fire station.

She said firefighters had also told her of the importance of keeping the appliance.

“There are many large older buildings across High Peak, including many which are open to the public, and this fire engine would help ensure that any fire is dealt with quickly,” she said.

“I understand that the current vehicle is in good condition and it could be bought for £3,000, with annual running costs of £5,000 – this a small price to pay to protect people and our historic buildings.

“Several firefighters have contacted me, to stress the need to retain the ALP in Buxton because of the problems of getting an ALP to High Peak from Chesterfield or Manchester.”

The fire service is looking to reduce the number of ALPs from three to two in the county, leaving two based at Chesterfield and Ascot Drive (Derby) fire stations.

Letters of support to keep the ALP specialist engine have been received by Ruth George from Trevor Osborne (The Crescent), University of Derby, Health and Safety Executive, Howard Town Mill and Buxton Opera House.

Fire chiefs agreed to include purchasing the ALP as an option to go to the Fire Authority meeting on September 27.

The petition, which already has almost 500 signatures, is available to sign online here, at Ruth’s office in The Quadrant, and any businesses, pubs and shops wanting a hard to collect signatures can pick up a copy from her office too.