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Campaign To Save Royston Fire Station Hots Up

Tuesday October 25 2011

THE campaign to save Royston Fire Station moves forward next week with a special meeting organised to fight the closure.

Dan Jarvis MP and local councillors will be holding a public meeting at 7pm on Wednesday, December 7 at Royston Civic Hall.

Dan said:  “This is a critical issue for the people of Royston and the surrounding areas.  I urge as many people as possible to attend the public meeting on December 7th and have their say.”

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR) has had its budgets cut by £10 million per year and - although it plans to cut management and administration costs by a quarter - it says more drastic action is needed to save the cash.

Royston is one of three stations earmarked for closure under the cuts because SYFR say the part-time firefighter crews at Royston attend relatively few incidents and the area would be well covered by the full-time crews at Cudworth and Barnsley.

Chief Fire Officer Jamie Courtney said: “We have already seen our budget reduced by over £3m this year and will receive a further cut of £1.2m next year. The Government has also warned us the cuts in 2013-15 will be even greater than in 2011-13. Having already committed to large savings in management and administration costs, we have nowhere else left to look for the rest of the savings.

“Firefighter costs represent by far the largest part of our budget. The challenge to us is to reduce the number of firefighters we employ whilst having the minimum possible impact on our emergency response service. We have thoroughly researched all the options and I am satisfied that, in my professional opinion as a firefighter with over 20 years’ service, these proposals will help us reduce our costs with the minimum impact on service delivery. They enable us to make some significant savings whilst maintaining our absolute commitment to providing a first-class emergency response service, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

What do you think? Have your say in the comment box below.

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19 Showing 19 comments

Reply Posted by Janetmgf on Monday October 10 2011 at 10:08
thatl be another empty station to go up in flames and then demolished for more housing

Reply Posted by Shaun. on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 09:01
The station does great work and would be a grime to close it down. What do I have to sign to keep it open at all costs?

Reply Posted by Mike Lee on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 10:41
The Fire Officers saved my son(and his babysitter's) lives when they attended from Royston Fire Station some 20 years ago. No amount of cuts should affect ANY of the emergency services - EVER

Reply Posted by Donnahick on Thursday November 24 2011 at 16:05
they should leave it open and we all should do all we can to make sure they do

Reply Posted by Markaa on Thursday November 24 2011 at 16:25
Lives will be lost if the closure goes ahead, and the government won't care as we are nothing but numbers to them. Save our lives by keeping Royston fire station open!

Reply Posted by Royston resident on Thursday November 24 2011 at 18:19
Emotive subject but they are a victim of there own success. Fire prevention through education, fire alarms, safer homes, furnishings etc has reduced the number of calls. There isnt the work there was. Are the figures available to say what they've attended and at what time of day and how close is the nearest help. And how much does it all cost?

Reply Posted by Royston Firefighter on Thursday November 24 2011 at 19:11
I'm a firefighter at Royston station and if 141 calls since January this year is relatively few then I'm  astounded. We at Royston are the 3rd busiest retained station in South Yorks and Cudworth are the 2nd busiest full time station. Should Royston close I ask you this....who will take the calls when Cudworth are busy?? Lives will be lost I fear.

Reply Posted by Royston Firefighter on Thursday November 24 2011 at 19:18
The cost of running Royston station is around 120k per year including wages for 11 firefighters. Although I agree that fire prevention is a great thing, I am yet to see a smoke alarm jump off the wall and put out a fire/pull someone from a burning building. 141 calls attended since january this year. The figures put out by SYFR are from before Cudworth opened when Royston had two pumps.

Reply Posted by save this station on Thursday November 24 2011 at 21:58
the money they will save by shutting this station is a drop in the ocean , it will come back and bit them . the firefighters do a great job and give alot of time up to protect there local area. lets get as many people in this meeting as possible. 

Reply Posted by save this station on Thursday November 24 2011 at 22:05
the upto date figures show that the station is needed. UNLIKE the figures that have been released by the management who have use data to make it look like its a waste of money 

Reply Posted by Royston resident on Thursday November 24 2011 at 23:20
Like I said a very emotive subject and very difficult to put a value on. Ive just looked at http://www.syfire.gov.uk/424.asp for figures for Royston. Are these figures misleading? Are there any others?
Just to pick up on the comment " smoke alarm jump off the wall and put out a fire/pull someone from a burning building" - lets hope they wouldnt be in the building because of the alarm.
On the figures shown is says you attend one accidental dwelling fire a month, is that right, why dont they show how many people youve resuced/lives saved (fires, accidents etc), do they keep those figures?
back to the figures, last year i get you attended 306 fires, 10 false alarms and went to 13 accidents

I also see that the fire web site publishes what happens every day at http://www.syfire.gov.uk/1684.asp

Reply Posted by A firefighter on Thursday November 24 2011 at 23:21
If these cuts are implemented how can the service then be deemed as first class. The senior management team need to be honest and state to the public that these cuts may cost lives.

Reply Posted by Royston Firefighter on Saturday November 26 2011 at 09:15
I'm not sure where you get 306 calls last year? We attended relatively few last year, in fact, this year we are up 300% on last year due to us now being a single pump station. The area is growing all the time and fire service cover is reducing. How can this be a good idea?

Where are smoke alarms positioned in your house? I'm sure you'll find one at the bottom of your stairs and should it go off i'm also sure you'll find that you and your family are trapped.

Smoke alarms simply give you the chance to call the fire brigade before it's too late.

What happens when you hit 999 and a fire engine turns up 15minutes later??

I'll let you think about that.

Reply Posted by Truckerisbest on Monday November 28 2011 at 14:40
 does any of the people that want this station to shut have to depend on a fire engine taking 15 mins to get to them if  there house was on fire mmmm prob not ,becouse if one of there own was killed or req a fire engine what took 15mins or more to get to em these people would be havin one built closer to them not shuting it down , if cudworth and barnsley are busy who goes to a 999 call in royston, ho let me guess sum muppet will send some 1 from wakefield , KEEP THE STATION OPEN 

Reply Posted by Gustymcguest on Monday November 28 2011 at 14:44
There are lies damn lies and statistics. It's a no brainer as far as I'm concerned. Shut this station die and someone will die becuase of it. That won't feature too heavily in a statistic driven report though will it?

Reply Posted by Baby Jesus on Monday November 28 2011 at 15:07
SYFR Management made a statement not long ago about the Royston area being well covered by the wholetime stations at Cudworth and Barnsley. If a fire was to occur in the Royston area, at least two engines would probably be mobilised from these two stations anyway depending on how many riders each appliance had (1 fire appliance based at Cudworth and 2 fire appliances based at Barnsley).
What SYFR do not tell you is that, as they are removing the 3 roving pumps from other stations (Elm Lane, Darnall and Mansfield Rd - All based in Sheffield) which were in place to cover fire crews attending training courses, one of the Barnsley fire engines may not even be at Barnsley Station as it is being used to cover other areas . Also, the 2nd appliance at Barnsley is one of the CARPs which are slow due to the weight, unreliable and have a lot of problems with access down the streets found everywhere throughout Barnsley. As already mentioned, this could be the only other fire appliance attending a house fire in Royston if the circumstances are right (or wrong depending on how you look it!) For example, if Royston have 5 riders, only one other pump will be mobilised. If Cudworth are busy at another job, the other appliance will come from Barnsley station. If the fire engine from Barnsley is covering another station area, or at another job, it will be the CARP that Royston is relying on.

Reply Posted by Steve on Monday November 28 2011 at 17:10
Baby Jesus, or A Firefighter, or anyone else that knows;
After reading the ‘sum muppet will send some 1 from Wakefield’ comment, I was just wondering how the county borders are managed. Do SY Fire & Rescue help out if needed in Wakefield and vice-versa, or do they have to stick to within their own counties?
Sorry, it’s not strictly related to Royston closing and a bit off-topic but I’m just curious.  

Reply Posted by Sid Ney on Monday November 28 2011 at 19:02
It's a shame the tone of this debate is starting to degenerate.

I see Royston fire engine hasnt turned a wheel on Sunday 27th, Im presuming thats just a quiet day. How many other days does it not turn a wheel?

Ive asked SYFR to clarify if Royston stats are whats happened in Royston or all their activity? Surely decisions around this should be based on activity on their patch? Does Royston become the 2nd pump for other areas? (mentioned by others earlier)

As I said in my original post - this is an emotive subject, whats a Rolls Royce service v an acceptable service and how much it costs are difficult decisions to make. Emotive language doesnt help that.

Royston has moved from a heavily industrialised area, with coal fires in every home, many of us smoked and lived in older houses.

Today, with the exception of the coking plant, we've moved away from heavy industry, there are very few coal fires, only a minority smoke and new housing regs, furniture regs etc mean less fires.

The chances of ignition diminish and the early detection has improved. 
Can a modern fire service continue to work like they always have when the work isnt there?

Reply Posted by Tracy Adlington on Monday February 6 2012 at 12:00
How much is a life worth? Seems to me not a lot to certain authorities who hold the purse. Big mistake if Royston fire station closes