Padiham is set to lose half its emergency fire cover.
Fire chiefs have announced plans to scrap one of the town’s two fire engines in 2014/2015.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has seen a 25% cut in its Government grant but bosses have said the move is not just a cost-cutting exercise and insisted it was also in response to a reduction in the number of incidents.
They said the readiness of the first Padiham fire engine to incidents has been good but there have been long-term problems recruiting enough retained firefighters to crew the second engine, particularly during the day. Fire chiefs said the risk in Padiham is low and last year there were 20 property fires in town but Mayor Coun.Vince Pridden has vowed to fight the cuts, saying they would be “devastating.”
The cuts, part of plans to save £1m. in 2014-2015, will mean Padiham will be more reliant on Burnley crews providing cover and could see up to 10 firefighters made redundant.
A 12-week consultation period begins on July 29th.
LFRS chief fire officer Mr Chris Kenny said: “The scale of the savings we have to make are only possible if we also reduce the resources allocated to emergency cover and the Emergency Cover Review is a well tried-and-tested process that offers the opportunity to achieve those savings without compromising safety.”
“It isn’t just because of the need to make savings that a review of our emergency cover provision is necessary. There has been a massive reduction of 60% in the number of emergency incidents we attended over the past 10 years, attributable to fire prevention work, but also to improvements in building design and fire alarm systems and the introduction of fire-retardant furnishings and fittings.
“It would be irresponsible of us not to take account of this significant down-turn in emergency activity when we decide exactly how much taxpayers’ money we must allocate to emergency cover appropriate to the demands placed on it.”