Fire station cuts to increase response time by 75 per cent

Kingsland fire station. Pic: ELL

Kingsland fire station. Pic: Charles Farquharson

New data has revealed that the proposed closure of Kingsland fire station will increase response times to incidents locally by up to three minutes.

Kingsland fire station is set to be one of the 12 stations closed in cuts announced earlier this year by the London Fire Brigade.

The Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe voiced concerns at a public meeting about the 75 per cent increase in response times to the surrounding wards by the proposed closure of the station in Kingsland.

Pipe said: “Given that fires can dramatically increase in intensity in a couple of minutes, this gives us serious concerns that the proposed closure of Kingsland fire station would put the safety of Hackney residents at increased risk.”

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The current and new response times to the wards surrounding Kingsland fire station


Ron Dobson, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said: “I know how important it is to respond to incidents as quickly as possible and I have every intention of maintaining our current response time targets for first and second fire engines.”

“With all the work we do to prevent fires happening, and response times that are still amongst the best in the country, I am confident these savings can be made while keeping London safe.”

The cuts to the London Fire Brigade were announced back in January and have been met with several demonstrations in opposition from members of the fire brigade and members of the public.

According to the Evening Standard, turnout to public meetings about the fire station closures have been in single digits in some boroughs.  However Lewisham experienced a turnout of 140 people to the public meeting regarding the closure of the New Cross fire station.

The public reaction towards the money saving measures is not entirelly negative as some view the cuts as a necessary measure.

A local business owner, Nurat Nal, 55, said: “We still get cover for fires anyway, even with the increased response time that will come with the cuts.”

He said: “I understand where the Hackney Mayor is coming from but if it saves money, it saves money.”

Public consultation on the closures of all fire stations throughout London ends on June 17, 2013 and you can have your say here.

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