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Glossop Fire Station Under Threat

Dianne Boardman

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GlossopDerbyshire Fire and Rescue ServiceTerry McDermottsChris Trapp

Glossop people are being urged to fight to save their fire station.  Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service has announced that they need to find £1.6m in savings by 2019-20 and Glossop is one of the proposed stations to take the cuts.  

A Review of Duty Systems and Ways of Working has laid out three options for residents to vote on, which DFRS Managers say will not affect cover or safety and are due to reductions in fire calls as well as funding challenges. They feel that Glossop fire station no longer requires the current level of cover and all three proposals mean less full-time firefighters and more on-call staff or part-timers to provide cover.

But the Derbyshire Fire Brigade Union disagrees and says safety to crews and residents could be compromised.  Firefighter’s homes close to the station would also be sold under the proposals. Chris Tapp, Fire Brigade Union Secretary, is urging people to take part in the online consultation that runs until midnight on Feb 16th.  He has reminded DFRS bosses that Glossop station also covers the Snake Pass and Woodhead Pass, two of Derbyshire’s most dangerous roads.  

Fire Officer Terry McDermotts stated “In September 2017 a range of options was presented. A shortlist of three options for consultation were selected, based on their appropriateness to meet demand, manage the risk in the area, their ability to be implemented and provide financial savings without detrimentally affecting the response times. We are inviting comments on the three options and invite you to complete the questionnaire, available online, with supporting documentation that we encourage you to read.”

The proposals have generated strong feelings amongst residents.  Many point out that the firefighters do a lot more than respond to fires.  They are part of the community and involved in fund raising and general safety and advice, something which could be lost if we have to rely on services from Greater Manchester or New Mills and now a petition has been put online for those who want to reject all options.  It can be signed at www.change.org (search: Glossop Fire Station).  The objection covers points such as incorrect data used in the document for the number of residents in Glossopdale (from an out-dated census), failure to take into account the increasing population and the fact that the area has a factory listed as an ‘Upper Tier Control of Major Accident Hazard Establishment’ because of the use of toxic chemicals.  They also argue that replacing live firefighters with on-call ones could cause a delay and we may have to rely on teams from areas up to 9 miles away, endangering lives both here and from the area the teams are taken from.  The petition also asks why Buxton, which has a smaller population but a full time fire station, is not being targeted under the scheme.  

Full details and three options for your vote can be found on www.derbys-fire.gov.uk/have-your-say.  A leaflet is also being sent to Glossop residents.