‘Lives put at risk’ by fire station closure

Dronfield fire station.
Dronfield fire station.
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Lives could be lost if the planned closure of a community fire station goes ahead, residents have claimed.

Members of Dronfield Civic Society sent a letter criticising the plans to shut Dronfield Fire Station to chiefs at Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The closure would be ‘detrimental’ to Dronfield and cause an increased response time to incidents, said the letter.

It added: “The people of Dronfield will be less safe than they are now and lives could be lost.

“Dronfield fire station is the most efficient in the county with an average time between pager alert and getting off the station of three minutes 30 seconds.

“This is crucial when a fire can double in intensity every minute.”

Society members also explained retained firefighters lived in the town and knew it well, a ‘significant advantage when attending incidents’.

Their letter added: “Recruitment of retained firefighters is difficult and the loss of Dronfield Fire Station would make this worse.

“The loss of Dronfield fire station would affect fire prevention and fire safety education.

“Current retained staff have a good relationship with a community they understand.”

The proposed closure of the station was announced in September as part of a wider reorganisation of Derbyshire’s service, aimed at saving cash in the wake of Government funding cuts.

Campaigners have previously said the town would have to rely on cover from Chesterfield or Eckington if changes went ahead.

The letter from the society also said Dronfield covered a wide area and new response times for some suburbs had not been provided.

It was sent after Mark King, station manager, made a presentation at the society’s committee meeting in December.