'Get your hands off our station' plea as community rallies behind fire fighters
PUBLISHED: 16:14 27 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:24 01 July 2019
A former leading Topsham firefighter has said 'get your hands off our station' as service bosses look to make widespread closures.
Scott Drew, 44, spent 15 years at the town's fire station and is now supporting a campaign to save it.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is set to undergo its most significant reshuffle in 50 years and has set out six options for the future.
In all of these options, Topsham, Budleigh Salterton and Colyton will lose their fire station and one of its appliances will also be relocated to Middlemoor.
A petition calling for the station to be saved has already been signed by more than 1,200 people.
Mr Drew, whose father Michael also spent eight years serving at the town's station, said fire bosses should not 'fix what isn't broken'.
He said: "I am a proud former Topsham leading fire fighter - this station is more than just your normal run-of-the-mill station.
"They remain a focal point of our town, carrying out sterling charity work and events within the community.
"People look up to the firemen in Topsham - it makes them immensely proud.
"I feel sorry for the guys at Topsham and their families - this is going to affect their livelihoods.
"Get your hands off our station."
According to Mr Drew, Topsham fire fighters have had an active role in the community taking part in carnivals and helping to put up the Christmas tree in the town centre.
Firefighters have been regulars in charity football matches and other events around the town, and played a role in some of the bigger Devon incidents including being one of the first crews on the scene when Royal Clarence Hotel was on fire.
Scott added: "Go and ask the people trapped we cut from vehicles and the lad trapped in farm machinery whose lives were saved if the station should be closed to save a few quid."
Anyone who wants to sign the petition to save Topsham Fire Station should go to the petition page
Paper versions are also available from Aldi, in Exeter Road, and at Nancy Potter House, in Nelson Close.