The Isle of Wight Council is calling its plans for the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service a “revamp” and claims it will improve response times and that firefighters will be used more effectively.
Scroll down to hear from Council Leader Dave Stewart…
The number of full-time firefighters on the Isle of Wight has already been reduced from 58 to 50. According to the latest figures, the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service is below its 80 per cent target of reaching critical incidents within ten minutes.
Currently, full-time firefighters are based in Newport and Ryde, with retained (or part-time) firefighters spread over the Island.
Under the plans, full-time crews would instead be split across Newport, Ryde and Sandown. £940,000 will be spend on the fire service’s fleet and equipment.
The Isle of Wight Council insists it will increase cover during busy periods and that no fire stations will be closed.
The authority says it is considering a system that would see the council, Hampshire Constabulary and the NHS sharing some roles with the fire service.
Hear from Council Leader Dave Stewart:
Councillor Gary Peace, Cabinet member for community safety and public protection, said:
“I would like to reassure the public that this move is about making our service more effective and efficient, and it would be inappropriate for anyone to suggest otherwise.
“This new way of resourcing firefighters will ensure we can match our crews to meet demand more effectively, meaning we have the right people in the right place at the right time.
“By restructuring the way we use immediately available staff, we’re able to provide a quicker service and carry out more proactive risk-reduction work.”