Strabane fire station could move to day crew system

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Local councillors have been told of proposals to change crewing arrangements in the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, almost a month after the consultation period ended.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Governance and Strategic planning committee of Derry and Strabane District Counci it was revealed that the consultation period for the proposals ended on March 7.

However Assistant Chief Fire officer Gary Thompson told councillors that they had made several presentations across Northern Ireland on the consultation and although the date had closed, still wanted to hear their views.

Mr. Thompson that risk assessments have been carried out in all stations to give each station a score.

Eleven stations are now under review including Strabane which has been classes as a medium risk.

Proposals are now in place for the station to operate a whole time day crewing shift system which will operate to support the current retained cover in the station.

He said there were a number of benefits to day crewing including: improving the spread of Wholetime in NI - faster response; release of resources to areas of similar risk and that it would be a cost effective model.

Mr Thompson stressed that the proposed changes are not budget driven. “They are purely “risk driven,” he said.

He added that the change would not affect the number of part time firefighters, which they would be retaining.