Response times could double if station merge goes ahead, warns fire brigades union

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Emergency responses could be delayed by up to ten minutes if a fire station merge is given the go ahead, it has been claimed.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) believes public safety could be put in jeopardy if Great Holm and Bletchley fire stations move to a new site at West Ashland.

James Wolfenden, secretary of the FBU in Southern England, claims response times will double in MK. He said: “In life saving emergencies every second counts. If implemented, the public living in northern and western areas of Milton Keynes will have to wait an extra 5 – 10 minutes for fire crews to arrive at an emergency.

“The current location of fire stations is ideal - fire crews can be mobilised quickly to any part of Milton Keynes.

“It makes no sense to cut back a vital, life-saving public service at this time.”

Chief Fire Officer Jason Thelwell says he is confident the proposal for a new ‘blue-light’ hub, which could act as a base for police and ambulance services too, is “safe and cost-effective”.

Its location next to the A5 will improve access to the north and south of the city, allowing fire engines to travel more quickly to emergency incidents, Mr Thelwell claims.

He has urged the public to get in touch with their views before consultation closes on Monday, November 9.

www.bucksfire.gov.uk/mk