May 22 2013 Latest news:
By Matt Hunter
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
FRONT-LINE emergency services have been revamped in two rural villages with the opening of joint fire and police stations.
The stations in Elmswell and Debenham were officially unveiled by Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore and Suffolk County Council’s Colin Spence.
The projects represent an investment of about £800,000 in the facilities which also includes Ixworth’s recently opened fire and police station.
The sale of the old police stations and a reduction in operating costs is expected to make “significant” savings.
Mr Passmore said it was not the end of collaborative working between the fire and police services.
He said: “Collaboration across the public sector is one way of keeping the frontline services. There’s huge scope for pulling together and to save money for frontline services. We are totally committed to this process.
“The fire and police services have to have trust in each other. You are not going to have a win-win situation in every situation but that you are able to protect the public with the services is what they expect. It’s a very good example of what has happened.”
The fire capabilities of the on-call station consist of one pump appliance and 11 firefighters. A total of three police constables and three PCSOs will use the station for their work as the Mid Suffolk Central Safer Neighbourhood Team.
Chief Fire Officer Andy Fry said: “It’s a really important day for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service. It’s great news for us and it’s also really good evidence of the positive relationship that the police and fire can have in Suffolk.
“I’d like to thank the councillors who continue to invest in the fire service and the officers who have put hard work into the project. “
Mr Spence, cabinet member for public protection said: “We are really pleased that we have been able to do it. I am really proud of what has been achieved.
“I’m pleased that the project’s objectives have been met and has resulted in a real improvement which will benefit not only the officers who work here in the shared stations but also the communities.”