A Haverhill councillor has called for Haverhill’s fire station to have full time cover before a serious accident occurs.
Cllr Tony Brown said that it was important for Haverhill to have a fire station that was staffed full time given the number of large industrial businesses in the town.
Haverhill fire station is currently staffed on a part-time , Day-Crew basis, with extra cover being available from off-duty volunteers and other fire stations.
He said: “Haverhill has large chemical factories on our industrial estate, we have had serious and fatal incidents at these sites in the past, there is huge potential for a major incident in the future.
“There have been major incidents like fires and explosions in the last 30 years or so.
“Every minute counts in response times, Haverhill fire station needs full time fire staff seven days a week. A quick response is crucial.
“Bury has a full time crew. In 10 years’ time we will be as big as Bury is now. We need more services, not fewer. We should have a full time crew as the town expands.”
Carl Francis, Area Commander for Prevention and Protection at Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, however, reassured members of the public that every effort was made to ensure the safety of everyone in town.
“Haverhill has never had a 24/7 station,” said Mr Francis. “There’s not considered to be a sleeping risk [considered higher than an industrial risk in fire assessment].
“Haverhill is serious because of the amount of industrial premises there but I’m quite confident we are familiar with the risks in the area and our fire cover is adequate.
“Haverhill’s fire station and its crew is very reliable and available.
“When we have major incidents, we respond from many locations, including Clare, Wickhambrook and Bury, as well as from further afield.”