North Yorkshire Fire Service 'In Crisis'
6:00am 16th March 2017
(Updated 9:37am 16th March 2017)
Calls diverted to CORNWALL, 18 fire engines unavailable EVERYDAY, just ONE fire engine was available in Scarborough earlier this week as Fire Brigade's Union calls it a CRISIS.
The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is in 'crisis.'
That's according to the Fire Brigade's Union who claim that two of the senior management at the service, in the last year of their career, have received a £35,000 pay rise, despite 48 front line firefighters facing having their jobs axed.
The union also says that dangerous crewing levels in their control room as seen calls diverted to CORNWALL because the service does not have the capacity to answer them and that as many as 18 fire engines across the region are unavailable to use everyday because of crew shortfalls.
Steve Howley is the secretary for Fire Brigade's Union in North Yorkshire. He said:
"The fire service seem to think it's perfectly fine to issue £35k plus pay raises to two senior officers in the final 12 months of their career.
It's immoral and it's obscene. I think it's an insult to the members of the public of North Yorkshire that their fire cover is being reduced and tax payers are being asked to pay more, year on year.
Steve claims that on Monday (13 March) fire cover across the whole region was "on its knees" with Scarborough being reduced to a just single fire engine, no aerial ladder platform available and even the controversial Tactical Response Vehicle (TRV) unavailable.
The next nearest appliances would have been coming from Sherburn, Filey or Whitby.
"The fire cover in North Yorkshire is at breaking point, we've raised our concerns time and time again with councillors and they seem to ignore those concerns.
We've seen first hand our control members, the people who answer the 999 calls, put under immense pressure with as little as one member in there at any one time.
We've seen the ability to do our job dramatically affected, management will argue that's not the case but it clearly is.
We're failing to provide a service that the public would expect."
Listen to Steve's full interview with Yorkshire Coast Radio's Alex Taylor below:
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have issued the following statement in response...
"The Fire Authority approved a permanent senior management structure at their meeting in December 2016 this included making two temporary Assistant Chief Fire Officer posts permanent. Details of their salary is public information and can be found on our website http://www.northyorksfire.gov.uk/about-us/financial-information/transparency"