future - mansion fire in tilstone fearnall 4

Residents have another month to speak out on the future of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, writes Stephen Topping.

The fire authority wants to know what the public thinks about a raft of new ideas to prevent fires and protect communities.

One of the biggest proposals is for 13 new rapid response rescue units across the county.

Each unit would have two firefighters who would respond to road accidents and provide life-saving trauma care to casualties.

It comes after 46 people died as a result of road traffic collisions across Cheshire in 2018 – more than double the number in 2017, and a trend that continued last year, the fire authority says.

The most controversial move proposed is to move one of Ellesmere Port’s two fire engines to give Chester a second appliance, with Justin Madders MP calling for the policy not to go ahead, while other ideas include changing the staff crewing system at Wilmslow.

The proposals are put together in the Cheshire Fire Authority’s draft integrated risk management plan for 2020 to 2024.

Mark Cashin, chief fire officer, and Cllr Bob Rudd, chairman of Cheshire Fire Authority, penned a joint statement in the draft plan which includes the proposal.

It says: “This four-year plan will outline how the authority will make Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service better able to meet the challenges and needs of modern societies, embracing new technology and recognising the changing risks within our communities.

“Ultimately, the authority is dedicated to providing the communities of Cheshire with a fire and rescue service that is committed to saving lives, changing lives and protecting lives to achieve its vision of no deaths, injuries or damage from fires or other emergencies.”

The consultation was due to close on Friday (March 20) but will now run until Friday April 24.

No public events are scheduled in light of the coronavirus pandemic, but the plan can be viewed online at cheshirefire.gov.uk

For more information call the fire authority on 01606 868700.

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