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Letter: Counting the cost of reorganisation.

Dear Editor, I have worked in Fire Control, which is based above Central Fire Station in Lancaster Circus, for eight years.

We are responsible for taking the 999 emergency calls and moving fire appliances around to make sure there is adequate fire cover around the West Midlands.

Obviously I don't want the fire station to close, we will now have to move more fire appliances around to maintain fire cover, especially at Aston, Ladywood and Highgate, which will be covering the city centre.

I have really noticed the difference in the fire service in the past few years, no doubt you remember all the shift changes that they brought into place last year, with some of the fire appliances being taken off the run at midnight and not back on the run until 0800 hours.

The brigade will say this has worked and saved money but I can't see how it possibly can.

They have had to draft officers in to fire control to deal with the staffing as the problem is too big for fire control to deal with.

Some appliances are off the run until 10am, while they move firefighters around.

I am worried about the regionalisation of fire control.

In July we took over 19,000 calls and some of the firefighters that were at incidents could not get through to ask for assistance because of the volume of calls being received, so what would this be like if we take on Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Hereford and Worcester and Shropshire?

It's sometimes a strain as it is with nine on duty at one time just for the West Midlands.

Nowthe shifts have changed yet again, so it will take a while to get used to this and no doubt I will shed a tear or have a lump in my throat when I park in the old cobbled yard and this is no longer a fire station.

Name and address supplied

CAPTION(S):

Birmingham. Central Fire Station
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 4, 2006
Words:329
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