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AUDIO: Fire cover cuts given go-ahead

AUDIO: Fire cover cuts given go-ahead

Published at 1:32pm 9th December 2015. (Updated at 6:35pm 9th December 2015)

Controversial plans to reduce fire cover across North Yorkshire have been approved.

Service bosses say the number of incidents attended and the level of risk have fallen over the last 10 years, which means that in some areas there are potentially too many resources.

In Harrogate, Ripon, Malton, Northallerton and Tadcaster, one standard fire engine at each station will be replaced with a Tactical Response Vehicle crewed by fewer staff.

They will attend small incidents, such as bin fires, and also provide support at larger or more complex incidents including house fires and road collisions.

In Scarborough, one of the existing fire engines will only be crewed during the daytime, with staff responding to emergency calls from home or elsewhere out of hours.

North Yorkshire's Fire Authority has also approved measures to help ensure the availability of fire engines crewed by part-time (retained) firefighters.

They include the introduction of a staffing pool which will provide additional firefighters when there are insufficient retained staff available.

The changes will start from next April and are likely to take up to four years to complete.

It's believed that enough staff will leave the service over those four years to implement the changes without any redundancies.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union staged a protest before the Fire Authority's meeting to highlight concerns over safety and job losses.

North Yorkshire Brigade Secretary Steve Howley told Stray FM that another proposal should have been considered:

Chief Fire Officer Nigel Hutchinson has responded to the safety concerns:

firefighters' protest

Members of the Fire Brigades Union in North Yorkshire staging a protest