Standing firm over fire plans

A public meeting organised by High Peak Unite Community heard there was ‘no confidence’ that part-time firefighters would provide adequate cover for Glossop.

Held in Glossop Labour Club, people heard Fire Brigade Union officers say current shift working patterns were particularly efficient.

They said the 14 full-time staff lived on site and by working two shifts were able to provide 24 hour cover.

This, they said, compared with the situation in Buxton where staff do not live on site and where twice as many full-time staff are required to provide the same level of cover.

Concerns were voiced over Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service proposals to alter shift working patterns at Glossop and Matlock fire stations.

The cost-cutting suggestions would involve Glossop night-time cover provided by retained fire crews.

A spokesman for High Peak Unite Community said: “It was noted that all three proposals put forward by the Fire Service no longer required fire crews to live on site and many suspected a future sale of the station houses might be the real reason for these proposals.

“There was no confidence that the increased dependence on retained staff would provide adequate cover for Glossop. Those present at the meeting agreed unanimously by a show of hands that none of the three proposals were acceptable.”

There were claims the second fire engine, crewed by retained staff at Glossop, was only deployed on half the number of times it was called out during December because a full complement of retained fire crew could not be formed.

Given that the proposals depend upon retained staff at night, there was serious concern there was a high risk of Glossop having no fire service over these periods.