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David Ruffley MP layout graphic David Ruffley MP
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Latest Update: Press Releases (23 September 2023)  
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David outlines his views on the threat to our local fire services
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Meeting our dedicated firefighters at the Bury St Edmunds Fire Service HQ is inspiring. They put their lives on the line and put themselves in harm’s way. It takes guts to do their job.
I was concerned to hear from them that the level of service in our town is under threat from Suffolk County Council.
Bury St Edmunds is a growing town and it is strange that the County Council and the Government should be even considering cuts to the quality of our local fire cover.
Everybody knows over the next few years there will be more people and more houses in the Bury St Edmunds area. That means there is a greater likelihood of the public needing the services of the Fire Service in our town.
Vital firefighting vehicles to be mobilised quickly require highly trained professional firefighters. I have had first hand briefings from the men who use the turntable ladder (TTL) about the effect that County Council plans may have. Our firefighters fear that they will not have sufficiently trained firefighters available at any one time to get the TTL operational as quickly as they do now.
The County Hall plans also threaten the quality of fire prevention work done by the Bury station. Our firefighters visit to villages as well as the town itself spreading the fire safety awareness message. It is essential to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by fire. This area of firefighters’ work is becoming increasingly important – even the Government says so. It needs greater resources not a reduction in staffing.
Amazingly, local firefighters face even further unnecessary change. That is, “Regionalisation”. Each county in East Anglia is to lose its six local individual fire and rescue control rooms, to be replaced by one single regional control centre.
This is madness. Local control centres have an intimate knowledge of their areas. This is vital in getting fire appliances to an emergency quickly. How on earth will a single control centre outside Suffolk lead to greater efficiency or, more importantly, lead to more lives being saved?
I am extremely concerned at all these proposals. So are our local firefighters. The safety of those living in our towns and villagers is our main concern. Penny-pinching plans for fire cover should be looked at again.
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