Harrogate to lose a fire engine and staff as part of cutbacks

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue launched a consultation on 20 July 2015 on a number of fire station specific proposals as part of a review of fire cover, which the Service has been undertaking since 2014.

That consultation closed on Friday 16 October 2015.

  • The Fire Brigades Union estimate that Harrogate will see the loss of 14 staff. Along with the cost savings associated with running one less fire engine, the savings could be £500K from the Harrogate Station alone.


From the analysis undertaken as part of the review, the Service say that the number of incidents it attends and the level of risk have fallen over the last ten years.

The station specific proposals which the Service consulted on were:

Fire StationProposals for Change
 EitherOr
HarrogateReplace one standard shift fire engine with a tactical response vehicleN/A
MaltonReplace the standard day crewed fire engine with one tactical response vehicleReplace the day crewed fire engine with a  mixed crewed fire engine
NorthallertonReplace the standard day crewed fire engine with one tactical response vehicleReplace the day crewed fire engine with a mixed crewed fire engine
RiponReplace the standard day crewed fire engine with one tactical response vehicleReplace the day crewed fire engine with a mixed crewed fire engine
ScarboroughReplace one standard shift fire engine with one tactical response vehicleReplace one shift fire engine with one day crewed fire engine
TadcasterReplace the  standard day crewed fire engine with one tactical response vehicleReplace the day crewed fire engine with a mixed crewed fire engine

 

Following the consultation the Service put forward recommendations to the Fire Authority and yesterday (9 December 2015) the Fire Authority approved recommendations to:

  • Replace the current wholetime fire engine at Harrogate, Malton, Northallerton, Ripon and Tadcaster fire stations with Tactical Response Vehicles and introduce Day Crewing for one of the wholetime fire engines at Scarborough (currently both fire engines at Scarborough are shift crewed).

 



Tactical Response Vehicles have a reduced capability compared to a standard fire engine and will be crewed with fewer staff. The final specification of the Tactical Response Vehicle is still being developed, with the input of staff, and is likely to be a small L.G.V.

They will respond to, and be able to deal with, small incidents, such as bin fires, on their own and will be sent along with standard firer engines to larger incidents such as house fires and road traffic collisions.

The Authority also approved two measures that will help ensure the availability of retained (part time) crewed fire engines. These measures are the introduction of four posts to support retained recruitment and the introduction of a staffing reserve (staffing pool) that will provide additional staff to crew fire engines when there are insufficient retained staff available due to their commitments with their full time jobs.

The implementation of these changes will commence from the 1 April 2016 and are likely to take up to four years to complete. This is because the introduction of the TRVs will be phased based on staff turnover and on-going learning and review.

Over the next four years there are expected to be sufficient staff leaving the Service to allow for these changes to be implemented without any redundancies.

 

The Chairman of the Fire Authority, Councillor John Fort, said:

We have carefully considered the feedback from the consultation, including the concerns raised, and believe that through a phased introduction of these changes and regular evaluation that we have agreed to do, these concerns will be addressed.

 

Chief Fire Officer, Nigel Hutchinson said:

A modern fire and rescue service is expected to provide an emergency response that reflects changes in risk. It also needs to use new technologies and techniques for dealing with emergencies, when they are proven to work. I believe that the changes approved by the Fire Authority today, will meet that expectation.

 


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