More fire crews on call in day in Cambridgeshire

Fire crews. Photo: Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service

Fire crews. Photo: Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service

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More fire engines have been available in Cambridgeshire during the day thanks to an innovative crewing system.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Tactical Delivery Group (TDG) has been running since January, increasing the number of wholetime firefighters that are working during the daytime peak hours.

The TDG’s crewing system means that in the first four months of 2015, on-call fire engines were available for emergencies for almost 1,000 more hours in total across the county.

The system has been running in Ramsey, , March, Chatteris, Yaxley and Whittlesey.

Area Commander Nick Foster said: “Re-allocating our resources like we have with the TDG has made a positive impact on increasing the availability of on-call fire engines to help improve frontline services.

“The flexibility of crewing in this way means our available resources are not tied permanently to one station but are allocated according to where the risk is, which we think is a smarter way of making more fire engines available to answer 999 calls.

“In addition, members of the TDG have been on training courses to develop their skills and are positively contributing to the Service’s vital community fire safety work. Members of the group have fitted 64 homes with smoke alarms and carried out 120 home fire safety checks in Cambridgeshire in less than four months, which reinforces our pledge to make communities safer.”

The changes to the crewing, which involved re-assigning 10 posts from the Huntingdon rescue vehicle, were agreed by the Fire Authority in February last year (2014) following a public consultation. The 10 posts previously assigned to crew the Huntingdon rescue vehicle were transferred to create the TDG.

The system means two firefighters continue to crew the rescue vehicle, which is not restricted to Huntingdon, during the day and the remainder of the TDG carries out other work such as bolstering provision of crewing at on-call stations, delivering community fire safety work and carrying out audits of business premises.