Could stay at home mums and dads be the answer to Suffolk’s undermanned fire service?

Elmswell firefighters were demonstrating height rescue equipment. They are in need of new recruit retained firefighters
Elmswell firefighters were demonstrating height rescue equipment. They are in need of new recruit retained firefighters
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Parents staying at home after dropping their children off at school, could make ‘the difference between life and death’ with Suffolk Fire Service.

Retained stations including Elmswell are currently undermanned which means on a number of occassions crews have not been able to respond to calls.

Elmswell firefighters were demonstrating height rescue equipment. They are in need of new recruit retained firefighters

Elmswell firefighters were demonstrating height rescue equipment. They are in need of new recruit retained firefighters

Elmswell firefighter Brian Hawes said: “There have been times when the fire enginge has been off road for quite a few hours because we haven’t got enough people.

“If you have a road accident near Elmswell we can be there within six minutes - if it falls to another crew that could be 15 to 20 minutes.

“If you have got people trapped in a road accident or house fire that can sometimes be the difference between life and death.”

When Brian first became a retained firefighter 32 years ago, all the village firefighters worked in the village – but the closure of the bacon factory and other village business has brushed that aside.

“We have got 10 on call firefighters now – none of them work in Elmswell.

“We are struggling to provide day cover and we have to have three firefighters or it is not enough for us to put the engine out on the road.”

– For the full story see Friday’s Bury Free Press.