Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

Crew shortages left eight fire stations across Suffolk out of action yesterday

PUBLISHED: 09:23 21 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:23 21 January 2016

Needham Market fire station

Needham Market fire station

Eight rural fire stations across Suffolk were out of action for most of yesterday because they were unable to muster a crew, statistics seen by our reporters have shown.

According to the data, there were not enough firefighters available at Holbrook, Framlingham, Saxmundham, Bungay, Eye, Needham Market, Wickhambrook, and Mildenhall for at least four hours during the middle of the day.

Other stations would have been able to operate only at reduced capacity – and Nayland fire station was not able to offer cover during the evening, although it did have a crew available for most of the day.

The figures are a continuation of a pattern that has become common over recent years.

The EADT has been sent information sheets showing which fire stations – of which there are a total of 35 in Suffolk – have enough retained firefighters available to be able to muster a crew for the last six days.

This followed our reports earlier in the month showing how often retained crews were “off the run” at a time when serious cuts to the fire service are being considered – which could put an additional burden on part-time firefighters.

The figures show that the station which had the most difficulty in mustering enough for a weekday crew over the last seven days was Needham Market. Nayland had difficulties on many days, although yesterday it did have enough firefighters available to put a crew together.

Fire stations normally need a minimum of four firefighters to be available to muster a crew – including a driver and a station officer.

The maximum number that can travel on a fire appliance is 
six – and most fire stations have 
11 or 12 firefighters on their books.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is currently trying to recruit more part-time firefighters and a spokesman said several are expected to be able to join crews over the spring – and senior fire officers are preparing to unveil changes to the way its retained fire stations operate in a bid to improve cover.

Suffolk County Council’s element of tax bills this year will see the biggest percentage rise since the notorious 18.5% hike in 2003.

Campaigners fighting proposals for a new nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast claim drone footage of Hinkley Point shows what a “massive, life-changing, countryside-destroying intrusion” Sizewell C would be.

Sixteen homes are to be bought by Colchester Borough Council at an estimated cost of £2.9million in a bid to tackle homelessness – as council tax in the borough is set to rise.

Police have released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with an assault in Chelmsford.

Proposals to build a new multi-million pound rail depot at Brantham on the Suffolk/Essex border have been jeopardised because it would force too many trains to use the level crossing at Manningtree station, it has emerged.

Lorry drivers have reported being shot at while driving along an A14 diversion route in east Suffolk.

Detectives are continuing to appeal for information nearly three weeks after the attempted rape of a woman in Witham.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24