Hub plan for 999 service

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FIREFIGHTERS in Sheffield could share a base with police and ambulance services under new plans by South Yorkshire brigade chiefs.

Under the mooted plans, a new building could be developed as a ‘hub’ for emergency services in Stocksbridge.

Alternatively extensive renovation work could be carried out on the small fire station on Manchester Road.

Short-term plans are also being drawn up to station an ambulance at the Manchester Road station so ambulance crews can use the facilities.

The nearest police station to Stocksbridge is around a mile away at Deepcar.

In a report set to go before the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority next Monday, temporary chief fire officer Jamie Courtney revealed discussions about the sharing arrangements have been going on for 12 months.

A spokesman for the authority said: “SYFR are currently gauging interest from South Yorkshire Police and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service in the development of a new property at Stocksbridge, which could serve as a hub for all three services.”

The spokesman added the ambulance service itself requested to use the Stocksbridge fire station as a ‘stand-by point’ for an ambulance.

He said: “There is already a similar arrangement in place at Aston Park fire station.

“A number of options are being explored, to reduce our costs and increase our partnership working.”

The report said collaboration between emergency services is likely to increase over the next year as they look to deliver community safety in the most effective way with the resources available.

But it also adds that some of the work is still aspirational.

In April the fire brigade approved another scheme which would involve advertising hoardings being fitted on fire engines, similar to the posters now carried on the sides of buses.

The proceeds from advertising would be used to fund fire safety prevention campaigns, which have been under threat since the Government spending review.

The suggestion of sharing buildings also comes when South Yorkshire Police is selling off some of its old buildings, including the major West Bar station and a number of disused police boxes, to try and cope with £40m budget cuts over the next four years.