Anger over plan to cut all the full-time firefighters from York fire station
A petition has been launched to save a York fire station from cuts that critics say ‘put public safety at risk’.
Huntington Fire Station would no longer be crewed by firefighters, under a plan by North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe.
She said the proposal to turn it from full-time to on-call “would offer appropriate and safe cover for the community” because it is the least used fire station in the area.
Huntington’s full time firefighters would be redeployed to other stations and its full-time fire engine removed.
But Liberal Democrat councillors for the area say that the Conservative commissioner’s plan is too much of a risk.
“We have had two serious house fires in Strensall in the last couple of years. Luckily, everyone escaped safely, but I worry what would have happened if the crews had arrived four minutes later,” said Strensall ward Cllr Tony Fisher.
“There is also the risk to Strensall Common, where fires can spread out of control extremely quickly – just a few weeks ago the crew from Huntington were instrumental in containing a 500m fire front on the common.”
“Residents in Haxby and Wigginton will be shocked at these proposals, particularly as they come after several devastating house fires in recent years,” said councillor for that ward Andrew Hollyer.
And Huntington and New Earswick’s Cllr Carol Runciman added: “This is yet another example of Conservatives cutting services, cuts that they never mentioned during their election campaign.
“We’re asking everyone to sign the petition and make their voice heard in objecting to these changes, which will put public safety at risk.”
You can find the petition here.
Police and fire commissioner Ms Metcalfe is holding a three-month consultation on her proposed changes to the fire service.
“Inevitably, there are some areas where the setup of the service would change but I’m confident the right people, right equipment and the right support would continue to be available to everyone,” she said.
Jon Foster, Chief Fire Officer, said: “The Risk & Resource Model would support the transformation of our Fire and Rescue Service and enable a greater focus on prevention that is underlined by our assessment of community risk.
“It would also facilitate increased investment in our on-call service.”
You can find out more and have your say at the commissioner website here.