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.