A Letter to the Editor from Steve HOWLEY, Brigade Secretary of the North Yorkshire Fire Brigade Union, up-dating readers on the severity of the cuts sweeping through the Fire & Rescue Services and how readers can help to resist threats to the quality and efficency of service.
Dear Mr Editor,
As you may be aware we launched our 2nd phase of the fight to save 43 fulltime Firefighter jobs and 6 full size fire engines at the following stations: Tadcaster, Malton, Northallerton, Harrogate, Ripon, Scarborough. This is just the start and the City of York has been earmarked for the next phase of cuts in around 18 months time, should management get their way.
If these changes happen, response times across the county will increase and fire appliances from areas not affected will be required to provide cover more than ever before in areas other than their own. This obviously means that they will be unavailable for calls in that area if they are propping up other stations. Mark my words these proposals will seriously affect the level of service throughout North Yorkshire placing the public and firefighters at greater risk.
Please will you share the link to the website we have set up www.no2firecuts.com with all your contacts and EVERYONE you know all you have to do is click on one of the affected areas listed and follow the 3 easy steps ensuring you fill in our petition and NYFRS public consultation questionnaire saying no to all their proposed dangerous cuts!
Scarborough has the North Sea on one side and if these cuts go through, the next nearest full-time stations able to offer support are Whitby and York as Malton is also getting downgraded. The part-time stations surrounding Scarborough are often unavailable due to crewing shortfalls, so we cannot allow Scarborough and Malton to be downgraded and isolated.
Also, I would urge you to write to your MP voicing your opposition and your Fire Authority members. Tell them you do not want these cuts and urge them to force senior management to find alternatives instead of slashing the frontline.
Believe me there are many which have not even been looked at, without a proper resourced and effective frontline capability, what worth is the fire service?
No professional Firefighter should be placed in a position where they are expected to stand and wait for back up to arrive while people are suffering. Attached are PDF’s of our fliers and poster. Also here is a direct link to the petition which is on the site https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-unnecessary-and-dangerous-cuts-to-north-yorkshire-fire-service it would be better for us if people went through the site, but whatever you feel will work for you to maximise the uptake.
I look forward to your help please let me know if you require anything further.
Yours in unity comrades
North Yorkshire Fire Brigades Union