Consultation supports changes to Cirencester and Painswick fire stations
Recommendations by Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) will be considered at the next cabinet meeting on Wednesday 3rd February.
Following public consultation, GFRS are putting forward a recommendation to focus resources on fire prevention by closing Painswick Fire Station and turning Cirencester into a fully retained firefighting crew.
By focusing on fire prevention and safety, the number of fires GFRS responds to have fallen by almost two thirds in the last decade with both Painswick and Cirencester having seen a reduction in incidents over the last five years.
The recommendations to cabinet would allow GFRS to respond to any incidents in Painswick or surrounding areas from Stroud (which is manned 24/7), alongside additional prevention and protection activities in the area to raise awareness on how to stay safe. Stroud already provides fire cover in Painswick when the retained crew there is unavailable. Of the 14 incidents which Painswick's appliance has been mobilised for since April 2015, in six cases crews from Stroud responded, as Painswick was unavailable.
Cirencester would continue to have two fire engines that would respond to all emergencies using a wholly retained firefighting crew. Cirencester's previous arrangements, which saw retained firefighters providing cover at night, were found to be a breach of European Working Time rules, following an enquiry to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) from the Fire Brigades Union. The station has been operating as a wholly retained station since October as an interim measure.
The public consultation found that 67 per cent agreed with the proposal to close Painswick Fire Station and 69 per cent supported making Cirencester a fully retained station.
Stewart Edgar, Chief Fire Officer, said: "The recommendations we are making come after a significant period of consideration and consultation. We've looked carefully at what our communities need from a modern and effective fire and rescue service.
"The consultation feedback shows that the majority of people back the suggestions and understand we have to match resources to risk, whilst providing a first class prevention, protection and emergency response service."
Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said: "Cabinet will listen closely to the views that local people have expressed, as well as the professional advice of the Chief Fire Officer.".