Full time night cover to go at Sleaford fire station?

A town councillor has led a motion calling for full-time staffing to continue overnight at Sleaford fire station.

Sleaford fire station.
Sleaford fire station.

Councillor Heather Lorimer called for backing from fellow Sleaford Town Councillors at a meeting last month for the overnight service to be kept in the face of savings proposed by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Consultations ended last month and a final decision will be made by the executive county councillor for fire and rescue with a view to it being implemented from January.

The town council voted to acknowledge “its support for the continuation of night time cover at Sleaford being provided by the whole time fast response firefighters.”

Coun Lorimer is concerned townspeople do not realise overnight cover could soon be reduced to on-call firefighters rather than ones based on site within the new building which was opened in 2018 on East Road.

Coun Lorimer added: “A six bedroomed bungalow was built for the full time firefighters on call between 6.30pm and 7.30am. The proposal is to remove this service and have one fire appliance crewed by the retained firefighters and the other appliance unused.

“This proposal is predicted to only save £40,000 from an annual whole time budget of £8.5million. From this, the 10 full-time staff at Sleaford will lose their 20 per cent allowance they receive for providing the guaranteed fast fire response during the night.”Both the full time and on-call crews will respond to day time incidents. Coun Lorimer said night time response times out of Sleaford could increase from 2-3 minutes to 6-8 minutes. If a second appliance is needed, crews would have to be called in from villages taking up to 20 minutes to arrive.

Spencer Creek, area manager at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said they have discussed it with fire crews and at public meetings. “No redundancies are being made. Full time firefighters at Sleaford won’t provide out-of-hours cover so won’t receive the additional allowance for this, which is over and above their core salary. The small savings made will help maintain On Call crewing and fund further fire prevention work in communities.”