Firefighters cut and Lincoln station nightshifts to be scrapped under new proposals

The number of firefighters at a Lincoln fire station would be cut by almost half, and response times would increase under new proposals.

A consultation launched by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue on March 1 has proposed altering the shift patterns at Lincoln South fire station.

Currently, the base is manned 24 hours a day, but under the new proposals, the firefighters will only be on the station during the day and on call within five minutes at night.

The changes would see the response time rise by an estimated two minutes between 6.30pm and 7.30am.

The savings, expected to be £1.67 million over three years, would see a reduction of 13 out of 24 firefighter posts at Lincoln South through managed retirements.

Acting Chief Fire Officer Nick Borrill insisted that the proposals were not cuts, but savings.

He said: “Fire and rescue is part of the county council and although we are seen as a high priority service, given the scope of the savings required, there is an expectation that we will have to contribute.

“In doing so, it does impact on our service delivery and that’s why we’re consulting on some of these options but the proposals that we do look at are designed to have the least impact.”

Other proposals in the consultation include reducing the number of Rescue Support Units, which provide breathing apparatus, chemical decontamination and support from road traffic collisions, from two to one.

The service also intends to press ahead with charging businesses £250 plus VAT for repeated false alarms.

However, this would be only considered if an organisation has more than four unwanted fire alarms in a 12-month period.

Borrill also said that a joint pilot project between the fire service, EMAS, and LIVES, to improve ambulance provision in Lincolnshire would be extended for another year.

Plans to work more closely with Lincolnshire Police were not ruled out by the fire chief.

He added: “The proposal is that we continue that project and if the funding is available expanding it.

“We’ve done a lot of collaborative work over the last couple of years with EMAS and LIVES, and we continue to look at other ways we can work in innovative ways together.

“We have been doing some work with the police to look at how we can share facilities where you will get operational benefits.

“There’s been a number of proposals from a national point of view looking at the Police and Crime Commissioner running the fire service. For me it’s about whether that would deliver operational and financial benefits to the county and this would need to be supported by a business case.”

Visit Lincolnshire County Council’s website to respond the consultation, which closes in the middle of May.