Firefighters disagree over dangers of closing Silvertown Fire Station
16:47 16 January 2013
Plans to close Silvertown Fire Sation are being driven by economic considerations rather than risk.
That is according to London Fire Brigades Union’ regional secretary and firefighter Paul Embery.
He said: “It is really dangerous that an important station like Silvertown, close to City Airport, heavy industry like Tate & Lyle, and an overhead railway line, could close. We will be opposing its closure vigorously.”
His comments came as Silvertown Fire Station was proposed for closure under plans by the London Fire Brigade to save £28.2million over the next two years.
Mr Embery says 29 firefighters across four watches at Silvertown now risk losing their jobs.
The London Fire Brigade maintains it will be able retain its average target response time of getting a fire engine to an emergency within six minutes – and a second fire engine, if needed, within eight minutes.
Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, Ron Dobson, said: “Having spent 33 years as a firefighter serving the capital I know how important it is to respond to incidents as quickly as possible and I have every intention of maintaining our response time targets.
“With all the work we do to prevent fires happening, and response times that are still amongst the best in the country, I am confident these savings can be made while keeping London safe.”
But Mr Embery is sceptical: “It’s not just about the speed of responding to an emergency, it is also about having back-up resources, such as more fire engines, which can make the difference between life and death.”