PLEASE FIND BELOW A LETTER ISSUED TO THE FIRE SERVICE IN SUPPORT OF PORLOCK FIRE STATION:
Chair of the Fire Authority - Councillor Sara Randall Johnson,
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service
Clyst St. George
As Chairman of Porlock Parish Council I was disappointed to learn (via the Press) that Porlock Fire Station is being considered for closure as one your cost cutting options being proposed. I fully recognise your need to save costs and focus on Protection and Prevention measures given the overall reduction in fires but given our isolation from other effective rescue facilities the Porlock Station is a vital component of our community.
I was particularly dismayed to read that of all the options being considered the closure of Porlock was in each and every proposal. Surely this can’t be for a station that has embraced change as demonstrated by the ready acceptance of the new Rapid Intervention Vehicle (RIV) and the fact that the Porlock Crew have proven themselves to be the most effective in Devon and Somerset receiving an award last year in recognition of their professionalism and availability.
I also understand that the station is available 90% of the time which is rather better than other stations that are not earmarked.
Surely to penalise such efficiency and professionalism sends the most appalling message to the general public and is significant ‘kick in the teeth’ to the men who man the Porlock service?
I notice in your consultation report, to be discussed 27 June, that you make regular reference to the ageing population in Devon and Somerset Fire Authority area. This is never more so than Porlock which has the highest level of people over 60 in Somerset. Of the 2000 people in the district a 1000 are over this age and some 500 have mobility issues.
To remove fire cover from such a vulnerable population would be a most unfortunate decision.
When you visited the station less than 4 weeks ago, I felt confident that by embracing the new RIV you were endorsing the effectiveness of our station into the 21st Century, I did not appreciate you were effectively ‘casing the joint’ for closure.
The inclusion of Porlock Fire Station in all the Options has met with dismay by all the residents of the village and the outlying parishes. We are proud and confident in the service they provide and wish for them to be removed from the closure list.
Chairman of Porlock Parish Council