PEOPLE in Bromsgrove are being urged to have their say on the crewing arrangements for the town’s fire station.
Currently there are 12 full-time firefighters based at Bromsgrove who spend 24 hours in the station on their work days – 12 hours during the day and 12 hours ‘on call’ through the night.
They sort out their shifts between them and it means fire engine one can respond in 90 seconds 24-hours-a-day.
The second engine is on-call and can be mobilised in six minutes.
It is staffed by 14 on-call firefighters who all live within five minutes of the station and respond from their homes.
But because of a Working Time Regulations EU court ruling which means the day crew cannot be contracted to work daytime and night-time hours without a collective agreement, a new system will have to be implemented.
Two options have been put forward in a consultation which runs until June 14.
The first option would mean fire engine one being available immediately 24-hours-a-day and the second being on call. As a result, however, firefighters would work two days (9am to 6pm) and then two nights (6pm to 9am) and then have four days off. To do this, staff numbers would need to be increased as there would need to be four watches.
The second option proposed would mean the first fire engine would be available immediately during the day with the second one on call and then both fire engines would be on call through the night (with mobilisation times of six minutes from when the call came in).
The lengths of the ‘day’ and ‘night’ period have not yet been determined.
Residents are being urged to say which system they would like to see implemented. Focus groups with members of the public chosen at random are also being held to gauge more opinion and the staff working at the station are urged to have their say.
An independent company is currently analysing the last five years of call data from Bromsgrove to work out the busy and quiet times. That data will then be used to help determine the best start and finish times of shifts, whether they be eight, ten or 12 hours.
Once all the information is compiled, Area Commander Guy Palmer will put together a report for the Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority recommending which option is implemented.
He said: “It is really important as many people as possible have their say so we can have a fire service that best suits the people of Bromsgrove and the surrounding areas.”
Visit hwfire.org.uk/your-right-to-know/consultation/ to fill out the online questionnaire, emaiil Consultation@hwfire.org.uk or write to: Corporate Communications, HWFRS Headquarters, Hindlip Park, Worcester WR3 8SP.