A MESSAGE FROM LOUISE WAINWRIGHT (BIGBURY NEWS):-
The Kingston Fire Service is run by four volunteers who are not paid a retainer fee to be available from their real jobs.
Three of them are local farmers and one of them is a local electrician. Their beepers go and they rush to the fire engine at Kingston.
They are only paid when they are on call or being trained. They get paid a ridiculous pittance. Shameful.
They have the same expertise as the Retained Crews at Modbury, Kingsbridge, Plymstock and Ivybridge.
They are allowed to take the engine out with only two crew available but one of them has to be trained in risk assessment to determine if additional resources are needed.
The Retained Crews at Modbury, Kingsbridge, Plymstock and Ivybridge may all have other full time jobs and get called out by a beeper. The difference is that they are paid a retainer fee to be ‘available.
The Retained Crews are only available if they have sufficient firefighters logged on to the system as ‘available’ – so the four other local fire stations will NOT always be ‘available’ for a call out.
Its not like the movies – they are not all eating Mary Berry curries and slide down a pole when the alarm goes off!
The Kingston Fire Crew are often called out to SUPPORT the Retained Crews and the local firefighters at Modbury are keen to KEEP Kingston fire engine. I have met up with both Watch Managers from Kingston and Modbury to confirm these facts.
The risks to our Community appear to be:
Our rural location and potential holiday traffic jams delaying access from more distant fire crews.
There is the risk that occasionally one or more of the retained fire crews may not be operational due to insufficient firefighters available at the time.
The high percentage of householders (65% in Bigbury on Sea) who are second home owners means that the alarm may not be raised so quickly for household fires.
The high percentage of elderly householders may mean they are less able to tackle a fire themselves whilst waiting for the fire engine to arrive.
Exposed coastal locations may lead to fires been fanned by wind.
Only returned Safer Together questionnaires will ‘count’ in the Devon and Somerset review of the services. Many rural fire services are facing closure. Petitions and Letters do not count.
The questionnaire has a section for the Respondent to declare if they ‘represent an Association’. Someone could respond on behalf of the Bigbury Parish Council, as well as complete a personal questionnaire.
The Deadline is 20 September.
The Kingston Fire Engine covers the total area from Plymstock to Paignton and even goes up to Dartmoor. It has been out on a shout on both Dartmoor and Paignton this year!
I have hard copies of the Questionnaire available now and have sent out the following information to local people (apologies if you have already received this!!)
The Safer Together questionnaires (about the closure of Kingston Fire Station) are now available for you to collect from the following locations:
Long Easton, Easton – call me first 01548 810991 / 07908 525663
The Beach Shop
NISA shop at Challaborough
Please let as many people as possible in Bigbury, Modbury, AG, Kingston, Ringmore, California Cross, Loddiswell, Bantham, Churchstow, Kingsbridge, Ivybridge, Plymstock etc. know about this.
If any other shops/Collection Points want copies of the Questionnaire – please call me. Thanks.
You can also request your own copy to be posted to you by calling the Fire Service team on 01392 872347
It can also be completed on line. https://www.engagespace.co.uk/devon/devonfireandrescue/survey/ConRespForm.aspx?consult_Id=2823&request_response=new&status=&criteria=I