Exmouth Fire Station could retain 24/7 crewing if union talks fail
PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 January 2020
Exmouth Fire Station will retain 24/7 cover if talks over a new crewing model fall through.
Earlier this month Devon and Somerset Fire Authority agreed that a decision on implementing day crewing at Exmouth, Barnstaple and Paignton would be deferred.
This is subject to negotiations between the fire service and the Fire Brigade Union (FBU).
Concerns have been raised that, should no agreement be reached, Exmouth could be forced to revert to daytime cover.
However, county councillor Jeff Trail, who sits on the Devon and Somerset Fire Authority, said Exmouth would remain 24/7.
At Exmouth Town Council's January meeting, Cllr Trail said: "Should the FBU not agree, it was confirmed that Exmouth, Barnstaple and Paignton would provide cover 24/7 with a reduced watch system.
"The authority will have to wait until March for the outcome of the FBU negotiations."
Concerns were also raised about the closure of Budleigh Salterton's station and the impact it would have on Exmouth.
Cllr Trail said he spoke to fire fighters at Budleigh on the morning of the decision and said they agreed with the decision to close the station as long as 24/7 crewing remained at Exmouth.
He said: "It was felt that Budleigh, Otterton and other areas will be provided with a much better service."
Clllr Trail believes the proposal will 'work for the area'.
At the council meeting, Exmouth Town Council passed a motion to note the decision of the fire authority and reaffirm its opposition to the closure of Budleigh Fire Station and the relocation of Topsham.
The motion also thanked East Devon MP Simon Jupp for his opposition to planned changes to the fire service in East Devon.
The town council agreed to note that the proposals mean Exmouth Fire Station would be supporting the Budleigh Salterton area.
The motion also said the reduction of fire engines does not take into account the risk of major fires on Woodbury Common.
The council asked for assurances that on-call firefighters from Budleigh are able to get to Exmouth Fire Station in the legal time limit of five minutes to respond to a call.
The motion was carried by 12 votes to two, with six abstentions.