Facebook bid to save fire station

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A Facebook campaign has been launched to save Heanor Fire Station following proposals to close it as part of a cost-cutting bid.

Last week, Derbyshire Fire Service announced plans to close Heanor, Crich and Alfreton stations and replace them with a new ‘super station’ in Ripley close to the A38.

The Facebook page was set up by firefighter Alistair Patrick, who believes the proposed cuts will increase response times and ultimately cost lives.

Alistair said: “We save lives, extinguish fires, rescue people who are trapped, attend smoke alarms and always aim to provide the best service we can to the local community.

“We have over 100 years professional service between us and voluntarily attend charity and local community and school events on a regular basis.”

He claimed: “Under the ‘Fit to Respond’ consultation Heanor Fire Station will be closed meaning the closest stations will be Ilkeston and Ripley this will inevitably increase response times to ten minutes or more.

“As crew and community members with friends and family locally we do not want the proposed closure to become reality, please show your support and back our campaign to keep Heanor Fire Station open.”

Heanor and its crew has served the town for over 90 years and comprises a team of 13 local firefighters who respond 24/7 to a pager system giving a five-minute turn-out to all emergency calls, he added.

There will be a “Fit to Respond” consultation event - where members of the public can have their say about the proposals at Ripley MarketPlace on Friday, November 3, from 9am to 3pm.

The changes, unveiled by Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service last week, could also see almost 80 firefighters’ jobs cut and stations closed as bosses search to plug a 40 per cent reduction in the service’s budget by 2017.

Chief Fire Officer Sean Frayne said: “Ripley will stay open and take on responsibility for Alfreton, Crich and Heanor. A new station will also be built along the A38, which will be a more effective arrangement.

“Ripley will actually be getting a better level of service. When our current stations were designed they were not done with live risk in mind.”

A total of eight new bases would be built to replace the 17 across the county by 2022.

Bosses say the changes would make for a more “efficient” fire service.

The plans went out to public consultation on October 1.