South Yorkshire Fire asks for public help in new plan

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue is considering reducing the number of firefighters on an engine in a new draft plan.

The fire service is asking the public to have their say on how it plans to meet a multi-million pound financial shortfall.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue faces cost pressures of up to £4 million as it may have to meet a significant national shortfall in pension contributions.

It is also no longer are able to use a way of staffing fire stations called Close Proximity Crewing.

This is where firefighters live close by or at the station, and are considered off duty but on call in case of an emergency.

The draft plans from the governing Fire Authority last month proposed reducing the number of fighters on a fire engine from four to five.

Other alternatives are being considered such as reducing the speed of 999 response during the night from up to half of its stations.

This alternative has already been adopted by many other services around the country. 

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Alex Johnson said: “We’d rather not make any changes at all but have a duty to match out resources to local risk and to manage the service in a financially responsible way.

“We think it is better to reduce the number of firefighters on a fire engine, than it is to slow down our response times by reducing the number of fire engines which are immediately available.”

The service have published the draft plans and the survey can be found at
http://www.syfire.gov.uk/haveyoursay.