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24 June, 2022

Response to FBU comments on Huntington fire cover

Responding to comments from the Fire Brigades Union regarding fire cover in Huntington, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe said:

“North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has undertaken a comprehensive review of risk across North Yorkshire and the City of York with the intention of ensuring there are the right people in the right place at the right time with the right equipment to keep everyone safe and protect all our communities.

“One of the proposed changes is to the operating model at Huntington Fire Station which would change from having two fire engines to having a single fire engine crewed by on-call firefighters – this operating model is already widely used across North Yorkshire at many locations. The Community Risk Plan classifies Huntington as a ‘low risk’ area and we have verified this by looking at incident data and demand over the past five years.

“Under our proposals we would keep a small number of full-time firefighters at Huntington to supplement the on-call crew and assist with the recruitment of these team members until such a time we are confident the on-call crewing is both resilient and sustainable. Our plan also includes a focus on and investment in prevention, something which our firefighters already spend a lot of time on. This is one of the most important measures we can take to protect people and places from ever needing an emergency response.

“Of course, we can never stop every emergency and, it is correct to say that every second counts when responding, but it is also important to recognise that it is vital that the right resources are sent to each incident. We manage our resources on a county-wide basis and individual fire stations and firefighters do not operate independently. The York area is covered by two other full-time stations, and on-call fire engines at York and Acomb also cover the Huntington area.

“North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s mobilising system will always send the nearest resource appropriate to the type of incident, and we track responses with our Automatic Vehicle Location System. This means we can ensure the right people are in the right places at the right time. That is what our Risk and Resource Model seeks to do, recognising we have limited resources but also recognising our overriding priority of keeping everyone across York and North Yorkshire safe and feeling safe.

“As part of the ongoing consultation on the proposed changes we are regularly talking to our representative bodies, residents and many others across the city and the county. I would encourage everyone to read the proposals in full, and give their views, before I make final decisions. The consultation is available at www.tellcommissionerzoe.co.uk, I will be in Huntington on Friday 8 July for another consultation event, and you can respond and give your views until Sunday 14 August.”

See more on the Risk & Resource Model Proposal and Consultation >>