Padiham fire engine cuts fear

Padiham Fire Station
Padiham Fire Station

Leading figures in Padiham have pleaded with fire chiefs to save one of the town’s fire engines from the axe.

Town councillors spoke out against £10m. proposed cuts across Lancashire which would see Padiham lose one of its two pumps.

The plea to safeguard the retained station’s second engine came during an emergency cover review public consultation at the town hall.

Fears were voiced that removing one engine could put people in town in danger and fears that response would times could suffer.

But fire chiefs said that fire deaths were at an all-time low and highlighted that there had been a 68% reductions in casualties.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Kenny said that this proved the fire prevention agenda was working.

The fire service was accused of “not pulling out all the stops” to recruit new firefighters to staff Padiham’s second engine.

But the meeting was told that Padiham had suffered recruitment problems and that the second engine could not be manned 45% of the time.

Mr Kenny admitted that removing one engine would only save £80,000, but said it would only add 16 seconds to the response time of the service.

Coun. John Harbour called for reassurances that Padiham Fire Station would not be closed altogether. He said: “It is a major, major worry for people that this is the thin end of the wedge and that after this pump goes we can forget about Padiham in two, three or five years.”

Mr Kenny added: “Padiham is one of the busiest retained stations. The time I guarantee anything is the time it comes back to haunt me, but I can’t see it changing in the next 10 years.”

The public consultation ends on October 20th.