Move to replace full time firefighters with part time crew at Milford Haven and Pembroke Dock is scrapped

5:40pm Monday 16th December 2013

FIRE stations in Pembroke Dock and Milford Haven will not be forced to reduce cover after Mid and West Wales Fire Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) agreed to maintain a full 24 hour service.

Concerns had been growing that full-time firefighters at the two stations would be replaced with part-time cover in a bid to meet savings targets of £4.1million over the next two years.

The Fire Brigades Union had warned that the proposals put public safety at risk.

Members of the senior management team were warned last month that the service needs to save £2.6m in 2014/15 and a further £1.5m in 2015/16.

Mid and West Wales (MAWW) covers Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Powys.

The service blames the savings on UK Treasury funding cuts passed onto local authorities by the Welsh Government.

Cutting the service at Pembroke Dock and Milford Haven would have seen 13 full-time firefighters removed from each station – a total of 26 or two thirds of the guaranteed full-time operational crews in Pembrokeshire.

Fire authority resources committee chairman Councillor Wynne Evans said: “This is great news for Pembrokeshire, there will be no changes.

“It was a lengthy meeting today and I spoke up on behalf of the two stations in Pembrokeshire asking that it not to change the crewing systems. I emphasised quite clearly that Pembroke Dock and Milford Haven stations are not just at the heart of the community but at the heart of Europe’s petrochemical industry.”

Reducing the crewing system to day time only would have saved around £550,000 said Cllr Evans but no changes will be made. The situation will have to be reviewed next year.

He said that £800,000 from reserves will be used in the upcoming financial year and an increase of 1.59% will be levied on local authorities in the region along with £1.1m of savings identified in areas including staff training and management.

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