On Monday. 13 September, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority (TWFRA) met to consider the outcomes of the eight-week public consultation carried out on the Services’ Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) 2021-2024.
The Authority approved the introduction of three of the four submitted proposals, which will result in the creation of up to 54 new firefighter jobs, representing a significant investment to public and firefighter safety as well as contributing to the economy and jobs market of the North East. The proposals will be rolled out over the three years of the plan. The Fire Authority has asked the Service to revisit Proposal Three and bring a further report on the implications of moving beyond the proposed day crewing model.
The four proposals were as follows:
To introduce an additional fire appliance at West Denton Community Fire Station. This proposal would result in the addition of a further 4 Crew Managers and 12 Firefighter roles into the Service.
To primary staff the Service’s Aerial Ladder Platforms (ALPs). This proposal would result in the addition of a further 8 Crew Managers and 16 Firefighter roles into the Service.
To change the current shift arrangements at Birtley Community Fire Station. This means the fire station would be crewed for 12 hours during the day, and fire cover will be provided by neighbouring stations at night. This proposal would result in the addition of a further 1 Crew Manager role into the Service.
To change the current shift arrangements at Rainton Bridge Community Fire Station. This proposal will result in the addition of a further 2 Watch Managers, 3 Crew Managers and 8 Firefighter roles into the Service.
Chris Lowther, Chief Fire Officer for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: ‘I would like to thank the community for responding to the public consultation and the Fire Authority for approving three of the four Fire and Rescue Service proposals. We are proud to serve the communities of Tyne and Wear by keeping them safe from harm and by providing them with one of the best Fire Services in the country and very much value their input. We welcomed the overall positive response relayed by Fire Authority members towards the IRMP, and took onboard the feedback provided.
‘We are further reviewing proposal three and will address the arising issues as soon as we can.
‘We deliver a very robust and diverse provision across 17 Community Fire Stations in the region, and it is our obligation to ensure what is provided to the public is of the highest order. We are delighted to have some of the quickest response times to emergency incidents in England.
‘These submitted proposals will allow TWFRS to adapt to current times and best serve the needs of the community. We have reviewed what is required to bring the Service in line with our vision for the future, and this is shown in the creation of up to 54 new roles over the next three years. We have listened to the reaction generated by the public voice through our consultation, and this is reflected with our actions in moving forward.’
The revised proposal paper for Birtley Community Fire Station will be submitted to Fire Authority in October 2021.