Statement on cuts to Waltham Abbey Fire Station

Waltham Abbey faces the loss of a full-time Fire Service in the town and surrounding neighbourhoods [1].

The Fire Station, which is currently staffed from 9am – 6pm, will be reduced to an on-call service, similar to the Lifeboat service, with fire fighters having to attend from wherever they are, and what ever they’re doing, elsewhere.

Essex Fire Service says that these proposals are about increasing public safety. Frankly, that’s an insult to the public’s intelligence. The proposals are nothing to do with increasing public safety – they’re all about dealing with the unnecessary 7% year-on-year cuts which have been imposed on our Fire Service.

England’s already seen a 21%[2] increase in fire deaths over the last year, and in London they’ve increased by 20%[3] following cuts and fire station closures. Cutting services in Waltham Abbey, and Loughton, isn’t going to help to reduce that. Every second added to a response time increases the chances of loss of life.

Part time and volunteer fire fighters, no matter how well-trained and dedicated, are no replacement for a properly funded, supported and staffed fire service.

Dave Plummer,
Epping Forest Green Party – Waltham Abbey town coordinator

[1] http://www.eppingforestguardian.co.uk/news/14543942.Authority_backs_cuts_to_Epping_Forest_fire_service/

[2] http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/apr/26/fire-deaths-rise-by-21-as-chiefs-issue-cuts-warning

[3] http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/budget-cuts-blamed-for-rise-in-fire-deaths-in-london-a3257496.html

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