1,000 signatures reached
To: Cheshire Fire Authority and Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Two fire engines for Chester
Listen to the experience and concerns of Chester Retired Firefighters, return Chester's second fire engine and scrap plans to demolish and rebuild the current Chester Fire Station at a cost of £5m.
Why is this important?
ONE FIRE ENGINE, FOUR FIREFIGHTERS, THINK ABOUT IT !
The return of a second fire engine to Chester is vital and will serve to enhance the safety of not only our 118,000 residents but also our firefighters. Chester has over 45,000 homes with more at an advanced planning stage. Since 1938 (when the city was half it's current size and had half its current population) Chester has been protected by two fully crewed fire engines and an aerial appliance. These were supported by up to three on-call fire engines at one point. Since February 2017 we now have just ONE fire engine and an aerial appliance.
Cheshire West and Chester's economy is based on tourism to the tune of £2.6 Billion. Much of it is generated by our city. We have 200 listed buildings many of which are unique worldwide. The loss of any of these due to inadequate levels fire cover would have a lasting detrimental effect on tourism. The protection of our old buildings is therefore vital to sustain this economy.
Being a University city we have the largest concentration of houses in multiple occupation (with their attendant risk) anywhere in Cheshire. Chester's one fire engine turns out to incidents; give or take; 1,000 times per year. An increasing number of these calls are to incidents in the Malpas and Tarporley areas. This being due to the sporadic availability of their on call crews. No immediate standby is mobilised to Chester until sometimes 30 mins has passed. That's potentially 500 hours each year that our city is without a Fire Engine. On average, just under 10 hrs per week or equivalent to shutting Chester Fire Station for around THREE weeks.
The proposed demolition and rebuilding of the current Fire Station at a cost of over £5m is unnecessary when a refurbishment would be viable and more appropriate . Government funded research indicates refurbishment is preferable to comparable new build and creates a carbon footprint some 4 1/2 times less. The £5m earmarked for this project would be far better spent on providing a second fully crewed fire engine for over SIX years !
One fire engine with just four firefighters doesn't adequately cover all forseeable risks.