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Big public boost for firefighter petition
FIREFIGHTERS have added over 2,000 names to their petition to save Hereford's two full time fire appliances.
Driving rain didn't deter public support for the campaign when it came to High Town, Hereford, on Saturday.
A previous petition in High Town attracted over 1,000 names in six hours.
The crews are calling for a referendum on whether one full-time appliance on 24/7 emergency standby at Hereford fire station is enough.
On Saturday, they were joined by a member of their own fire authority - Herefordshire councillor Marcelle Lloyd-Hayes - who has opposed the cut from the off.
The crews want the issue of full-time cover at the station put to a public vote.
Many of those to have signed so far said they were prepared to pay more in the council tax precept raised by the fire authority to keep current 999 cover.
An even bigger majority were unaware that a public consultation exercise on the issue had been concluded by Hereford & Worcester Fore & Rescue Authority (HWFRA).
On this basis, the FBU calls the consultation process a “failure”.
The extent of proposed cuts to fire cover in the county - part of a cuts package applying across the whole HWFRA area - has been outlined previously by the Hereford Times.
As proposed, full-time 24/7 first response fire and rescue fire cover at Hereford fire station comes down to a single appliance and no more than seven fire fighters on a shift.
Those seven - presuming all are present - would be the full-time 999 response for the whole county, including the manning of specialist appliances, with Malvern as the nearest full-time back-up.
With a decision now due next month, HWFRA accepts that response times in the county will be compromised by cuts that save more than £767,000, but maintains that, with the retained crews, enough support is in place.
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