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“Shire can’t lose full time fire cover”

Created on 18/07/2011 @ 14:06
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Montgomeryshire is set to lose its full time fire service if plans to axe round-the-clock cover in Newtown go through.
Welshpool, Llanfair and Llanfyllin are currently serviced by local fire fighters on call but there was always the reassurance of back-up from the full timers in Newtown. However that is soon to end.
And now Montgomeryshire AM, Russell George, has called on the Local Government Minister to closely monitor the performance of Mid and West Wales Fire Service, after pushing through plans to remove the full-time fire fighters from their Newtown station.
In questioning Carl Sergeant AM, Mr George asked if he would raise urgent concerns from local residents with Fire Service chiefs, who believe they have been put at increased risk now there is no longer full-time staff based anywhere in Montgomeryshire, or in fact Powys.
“I have been raising concerns about these proposals for several months now,” said Mr George: “There were 21 full-time fire fighters based at three stations in Powys (Newton, Llandrindod Wells and Brecon). Now those members of staff are only used to do home fire safety checks and other non-emergency activities.
“Emergency services are now being delivered by retained, part-time, firefighters. While I support their skill and commitment to the Fire Service, I am concerned that response times could increase and lives be put at risk.
“There is also a concern now that Newtown station has been downgraded, certain equipment used to tackle flooding and deal with dangerous waste spillages could be withdrawn.
“These are vital front-line services for the whole of Montgomeryshire and they need to be protected.”
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