Campaign to save village fire station is hotting up

Cotswold Journal: Campaign to save village fire station is hotting up Campaign to save village fire station is hotting up

FIREFIGHTERS in Broadway are hoping fire chiefs will hear their plea and keep their village station open.

The campaign to save Broadway Fire Station stepped up again as more than 100 people turned out for a public meeting to oppose the closure.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is looking at ways to address an annual budget shortfall, which rises to £4.7 million within three years.

One of its proposals would see either the closure of Broadway station or the removal of an engine from Evesham.

But Broadway’s firefighters have attended several emergencies in the last week and retained firefighter Dave Eyres warned that, if the station were closed, people could wait twice as long for a crew to arrive.

He said recent callouts had proved his team was an essential emergency service for the village and he hopes the public support will help sway the fire service’s decision.

“We are very pleased to have had such good support,” he said.

“I would hope the campaign has made a difference.

“I hope for the area t hat we stay. We have been to a number of incidents recently and it shows how important the truck in Broadway is.

“We attended the two fires in Campden and had a couple of other incidents.

“We also attended a road traffic crash and an incident this week.”

Former fire authority advisor Peter Reading, who lives in Broadway, does not believe the fire service’s ‘Community Risk Management Plan’ takes account of all the incidents the Broadway crew attend. The campaign member said it was important to keep the stations as, once closed, they would be unlikely to ever reopen.

He said: “I think Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority have been wrong in the way the document suggests Broadway has only attended three incidents a year. The amount is really 80 to 100. They are not counting the incidents in Gloucestershire.

They have also only counted house fires and not chimney fires, which in the area can be very big, as we know from the Lygon Arms and Broadway Hotel incidents.

We are looking at all the facts.”

The saving for closing Broadway station would be £97,700 in the first year increasing to a saving of £102,500 in the second year, while removing one fire engine from Evesham would save £97,400.

The final report will be considered by the fire authority on Wednesday, February 19.

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