Evidence is urgently required
Published at 10:53, Saturday, 11 August 2012
Moving Cumbria’s fire control centre from Cockermouth into Cheshire was never going to be ideal.
It was opposed widely in its planning stages. It is disliked now. And the Fire Brigade Union claims it has slowed emergency response times, putting lives and property at risk.
The union has expressed its concerns in a letter to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Authority – where Cumbria’s calls are now taken – saying members in that county didn’t have the same necessary local knowledge of Cumbria as staff in the old Cockermouth control room, which closed in June.
It is compiling a dossier of specific incidents to back up those claims but will not release any detailed accounts, for fear of scaremongering.
There’s a contradiction in that stance. Likelihood is that more people will be scared by a general declamation, pointing to a failing emergency service, than by detailed evidence of precisely where and what the problems are and how they have impacted on people in distress.
The county council flatly rejects criticisms of staffing levels and training. MPs supportive of the FBU warn loss of local knowledge could cost lives.
But without sight of the evidence held by the union, how is anyone supposed to judge whether a cost-saving move is suffering a few teething problems or whether they’ll pay with the lives of their families?
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk