CONCERNS have been raised about a town’s fire service cover.
At a meeting of Buckley Town Council, members were told Buckley receives on average 92.5 per cent fire coverage.
This means the station’s fire appliance is available for about 92.5 per cent of the time from the town’s fire station, prompting concerns from councillors about the remaining 7.5 per cent of time.
Richard Fairhead, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service assistant chief fire officer, said as £2.6 million needs to be made in savings, recruitment could not be held for the Buckley station.
He reassured councillors the station would not be closed as part of moves to make savings.
However, Cllr Richard Jones said: “I’m astounded that, as the largest town in Flintshire, you would imagine there would be a full service. Other towns rely on Buckley and the risk of fire extends to all other places, not just Buckley.
“Is the fire service aware of a 20 per cent increase in residential developments in the next five years? The town is going to get bigger.
“That’s why I’m astonished there is not 100 per cent cover, it’s a real shame. We as a town council should not accept this.”
Speaking after the meeting, Buckley councillor Arnold Woolley said response times could be affected by Buckley not having 100 per cent cover.
He said: “There’s a potential for slower response times when we don’t have cover in Buckley.
“There is a greater risk, fire doesn’t wait around. I’m very unhappy about this.”
Mr Fairhead said: “I would like to reassure the public of Flintshire that North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is committed to their safety and works to protect all communities in North Wales equally and to provide a professional, efficient and effective service for all who live, work and travel throughout the region.
“Like many of our fire stations, Buckley operates the retained duty system and there are times when, due to their primary employment, some of the part- time firefighters are not available to respond to fire calls.
“However for the last three years the station’s fire appliance has been available for an average of 92.5 per cent of the time, which is extremely positive.
“We are delighted with the commitment of the firefighters in Buckley and the availability figure of 92.5 per cent. As a service we are providing additional resources to improve this availability figure.”