Rugby’s fire engines may be safe from cuts

Warwickshire County Council's cabinet will discuss the plans today
Warwickshire County Council's cabinet will discuss the plans today

Plans to halve the number of fire engines in Rugby could be scrapped.

The town’s station was due to lose one of its two engines as the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service tries to save £2.4 million over the next four years.

Chief Fire Officer Andy Hickmott said he will recommend that Rugby, along with Leamington Spa and Nuneaton, keep their second engine after consulting with the public and unions.

Warwickshire County Council’s cabinet will discuss the recommendations at a meeting today (Thursday).

The revised proposal states that crews of four will be deployed in Rugby, Leamington Spa and Nuneaton. A crew of five will normally be deployed elsewhere.

More than 1,000 people took part in a public consultation about the changes to the fire service and 76.4 per cent of respondents said they were fairly or very concerned about the proposals.

Mr Hickmott said: “The implementation of these proposals will mean that we can continue to respond to the public when they need us most, prevent emergencies from happening in the first place and provide our firefighters with the training and equipment that helps to keep them safe.”

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service may also change its emergency response standards from April next year.

The proposal states the first fire engine will attend life risk emergencies across the county within ten minutes on 75 per cent of occasions. The second fire engine will attend life risk emergencies across the County within 15 minutes on 90 per cent of occasions.

Marcus Giles, secretary of Warwickshire Fire Brigades Union, was pleased to hear the second engine may not be scrapped.

He said: “More fires occur in the urban areas so it’s important to keep the second engine and keep the public safe.”

The cabinet will meet at Shire Hall in Warwick today (Thursday) at 1.45pm. The meeting is open to the public.