The use of on-call firefighters for overnight cover in Lichfield has been described as a “dangerous decision” by a candidate to become the next Staffordshire Commissioner.

Tony Kearon will stand as the Labour candidate when the vote takes place later this year.

He said the risk of not having a regular shift available to deal with night-time incidents from Lichfield Community Fire Station was unacceptable for the size of the city.

“We are told that this is a temporary suspension of service driven by financial pressures – but the risk to life and property is not temporarily suspended every evening.

“If we have learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic it is that public safety must come before financial considerations.

“This is a dangerous decision. It must be reversed, and Lichfield-based services reinstated immediately.”

Tony Kearon

A spokesperson for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said the current situation had not been related to any financial decisions.

“It is important to clarify that the current arrangements to provide on-call firefighters for overnight cover in Lichfield have not been driven by financial pressures.

“The community in Lichfield should be reassured that there will continue to be a response provision to incidents within the area.

“The arrangements have been put in place as a number of on-call firefighters based at Lichfield have been suspended from duty while an investigation is carried out into allegations of poor behaviour.

“When the investigation concludes, which is expected in February, we will review the arrangements for overnight cover in Lichfield to ensure that we can continue to provide the level of response and service that local communities expect.”

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Note: This article was amended on 16th January to reflect an updated comment from Staffordshire and Rescue Service.

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7 Comments

  1. Currently there is now no longer any fire cover from midnight till 8am in Lichfield.
    This will continue indefinitely.

  2. Does Lichfield fire station still have Retained fire personnel
    Ex Retained fireman from 1973 to 1987

  3. Why haven’t residents been consulted about this?
    Why hasn’t this decision been published instead of been done seemingly in secret?
    I hope our MP has a view on this.

  4. Beyond belief. Like COVID doesn’t kill kids, fires don’t happen at night in Lichfield. Special Boris magic is it, Fabbo?

  5. Wow ! Quite a few comments here, seemingly driven by emotion rather than operational insight. Consultation, consultation ? Whenever has operational decisiveness ever required the populace to chip in their three ha’penny worth ? Hang on, I don’t think we’ve been consulted about how loud the blues and twos ought to be between 12:00 and 8:00 a.m.. No Fire Cover ? Haven’t they said there’ll be “On call cover” I’m sure the operational parameters will have been assessed before instigating that status. It’s not a Commissioner candidate judgement. It’s operational, functional, not an area that warrants political meddling.

  6. What a crying shame it is to witness senior members of the fire service failing to own their own decisions. Blaming the availability of firefighters for this dangerous decision. It is common knowledge that their ‘availability’ has been determined by senior members. It has nothing to do with the hard working, loyal and devoted firefighters on the front line, and yet it is them which are once again being used as the scape goat for this appalling decision. How frightening it is to think that it will take a tragic event for this decision to be dealt with appropriately. How truly shocking it is that Staffordshire fire and rescue service are willing to take that risk in order to save money whilst they painstakingly ponder the ‘availability’ of the retained personnel. To add to this insult the fire service are requesting more money from our council tax increase when they are clearly failing to use these funds wisely!!

  7. I support use of regular perminant staff at Lichfield fire and rescue station as the city is getting larger it’s very much needed for full time staff. Mr Clive Jones Lichfield resident for 40years

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