Calls for Exmouth Fire Station to retain its 24/seven staffing status
PUBLISHED: 12:59 15 July 2019
Exmouth's highly-trained firefighters do more than put out fires - that is the message from a town and district councillor.
Councillor Fred Caygill was speaking at a town council meeting in the wake of proposals which could see Exmouth Fire Station lose its 24/seven operation.
Three of the six possible changes being proposed by the fire service will see Exmouth, which is currently manned all hours by 'wholetime' firefighters, be fully staffed during the day with on-call crews available at night.
A seventh option will allow people to suggest a 'mix and match' of elements from the other six.
The plans have been put out for public consultation.
Cllr Caygill said: "As well as their primary roles of fighting fires and attending road traffic collisions, our firefighters are also trained in some specialist disciplines of swift water rescue, rope rescue and mud rescue, which is important to note as our river estuary is seven square miles and has a considerable amount of mud.
"Mud rescue capacity used to be a discipline of our volunteer coastguard rescue team but has now been withdrawn from Exmouth coastguard rescue team.
"The nearest coastguard mud rescue teams are based at Teignmouth and Lyme Regis."
Cllr Caygill said some on-duty firefighters are called upon to help paramedics to gain access to properties to allow them to attend to a patient - a function formerly carried out by the police.
All of the options put forward also include the proposed closure of eight stations across Devon and Somerset including Budleigh Salterton and Topsham.
Cllr Caygill said: "As a local man who has known many firefighters and watched the service develop over many years, I personally would like to see the station at Exmouth remain as a 24/7 station for the reasons I have stated."
A public drop-in event is taking place on Tuesday (July 23) from 3pm to 7pm at Exmouth Town Hall, in St Andrew's Road.
Anyone wanting to take part in the consultation has until September 22. The online survey is available by clicking here