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Protest Rally at Loss of Epsom's Fire Engine

January 20, 2013 9:09 AM

Fire Station RallyOn a sub-zero day and with minimal publicity, just a few brave souls turned out for the Protest Rally outside the Fire Station.

Cllr Julie Morris was interviewed on camera about the proposals which should shortly be available via the local Guardian's website, along with their photographs. She said "We pride ourselves on having good emergency services in this country. We are a growing borough. We should be moving toward even better response times, not worse. Any reduction in services could mean loss of life. It's as simple as that."

The public consultation concerning the proposed changes closes on 1st February, but the main points are listed below, complete with contact details. The wording is taken directly from the consultation document at www.surrey-fire.gov.uk/psp. Key changes are highlighted in bold text.


THE PROPOSALS If implemented, there would be a change to the availability of the fire engines based at Epsom. Currently there are two fire engines crewed by staff to provide an immediate response 24 hours a day. Our proposal is to base only one fire engine at Epsom and base a second fire engine at a new location in the Burgh Heath area with a target date of summer 2014. This will mean that some firefighters currently based at Epsom will need to work from other locations within Surrey. This is linked with other changes at Reigate that will create a chain of single fire engine fire stations running through the boroughs of Epsom & Ewell and Reigate & Banstead.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE Epsom & Ewell is surrounded by many other fire service resources based at Reigate and Leatherhead fire stations plus others based in London. We have modelled the effects of our proposals and identified their potential impact. We predict that there would be a slight increase in the average response times for the fire fire engine to arrive at an incident in Epsom & Ewell if the proposals are implemented. It would also mean that the second fire engine is likely to take longer to arrive at an incident in the borough but the average would still be well within the Surrey emergency response standard.

THE BENEFITS of the proposals would create a more efficient use of resources across the county. In Epsom & Ewell, the first fire engine will be attending incidents on average in about six minutes and in many cases that will be sufficient to deal with the emergency safely and effectively. For life and property risk incidents, additional resources will be on their way to provide the required support for the first crew attending. The fire fire crew on scene will assess the scale of the incident and can request more resources if they are needed.

HAVE YOUR SAY We encourage residents to have their say on how fire and rescue services are provided. These proposals along with further information are detailed in an online questionnaire which runs until 1st February 2013. The consultation relates to Surrey PSP which focuses on preventing emergencies occurring in the first place, ensuring that an effective and well-balanced emergency response is provided across Surrey and that the fire and rescue resources are matched to demand.

HOW CAN I TAKE PART IN THE CONSULTATION PROCESS? By completing the online questionnaire at www.surrey-fire.gov.uk/psp. By emailing comments to psp@surreycc.gov.uk. By writing to PSP Team, Surrey Fire and Rescue, Croydon Road, Reigate. By telephone 03456 009 009. SMS 07527 182861. By fax 01717222857. Minicom 0208 541 9698. Braille, tape or another language is available on request.

MAKING A DECISION On 26th February 2013 we will be asking Surrey County Council's Cabinet to approve our proposals based on our analysis and your feedback.