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MP receives guarantees from fire station management

Friday, 14th January 2011.

Haverhill MP Matthew Hancock visited the town's fire station this morning and received assurances that safety would not be compromised by the proposed change to five-day full time crewing.

Suffolk County Council's fire authority intends to move the station from seven-day-a-week full-time crewing to five days, with the weekends being covered by the retained crew, as happens at night all the time at present.

Fears about safety have been raised with varying estimates of how much longer it will take to get the first fire engine to an incident at the weekend as a result.

Mr Hancock said he was told by staff the delay would be, on average, four minutes, and by management, three minutes.

He had to wait to talk to them because when he arrived they were out on a call to s chemical incident at a school in Sudbury.

"It's a difficult time," he said after meeting both staff and management. "We have a budget squeeze, but the safety of the public is my top priority and we must protect that."

Ge spoke to the firefighters about their concerns and about how the retained fire crews work, and then he spoke to the management and sought re-assurances that the safety of the public would not be compromised.

"They were able to give me those guarantees," he said. "I will be pressing them to make sure they keep to it. But we have to live within the budget from the county council."

Haverhill Online News

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