Full-time firefighters may be on-call 24/7

Team at Grantham Fire Station. Left to Right are Julie Smyth, Craig Tuck, Matt Peace, Danny Hill, Mick Smith, Rob Castle. 081C
Team at Grantham Fire Station. Left to Right are Julie Smyth, Craig Tuck, Matt Peace, Danny Hill, Mick Smith, Rob Castle. 081C
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FULL-time firefighters will be on call 24 hours a day at Grantham if Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue proposals are approved.

Currently, 12 full-time firefighters are assisted by about 20 retained officers. The plan is to reduce the amount of retained firefighters, who work on call while holding down other jobs.

The more specialist full-time firefighters, who are split into two shifts, will work from Grantham Fire Station during the day and be on-call all night for four days and then will have four days off, if plans are approved.

Area manager Steve Moore, who is leading the fire and rescue consultation, said: “What we want to do is make sure we have all the specialist skills available 24 hours, seven days a week. It’s a more demanding system than a lot of the crews are working at the moment but they recognise it is a better system.”

Full-time firefighters are trained to a more advanced level and can give more specialist support at incidents. They currently man the station between 7.30am and 6pm.

Mr Moore said: “I think this will be a better use of the full-time firefighters that we have in the area. It is also getting harder to recruit retained firefighters, we have to plan for the future.

“It’s a very big commitment for the firefighters but they will get benefits for that.”

Under the plans the money saved from using the service of retained firefighters less will be used to pay the full-time teams.

Mr Moore added: “But we have no plans at all for any forced redundancies, we will reduce the number of retained staff over a number of years by vacancy management. We tend to lose about 10 per cent a year.”

The consultation closes on January 31. If approved the plans will be implemented in April. To share your views go to www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/LFRconsultation

The plans also include decommissioning the hydraulic platform based in Skegness, leaving the county with two of these appliances in Lincoln and Boston.