By Martin Walker
The town’s fire station will undertake major changes in the next 12 months.
But brigade bosses insist the service to residents in Aycliffe will not change at all.
The number of active fire fighters working at Aycliffe will be reduced from 24 down to 14.
And as part of a new shift pattern, firemen spend 12 hours on call in a purpose-built £600,000 living quarters adjacent to the station on Central Avenue.
The fire service say response times will not change whatsoever – and that the 10 “surplus” staff will be redeployed to other stations.
The service’s workforce nationally will gradually decrease through “natural wastage”, such as retirements.
How will it work?
By introducing Day Crewing Plus, Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue will:
• Maintain the same immediate 24/7 response to emergencies
• Retain the same number of fire appliances at each station
• Continue to mobilise fire appliances with 5 firefighters
• Save taxpayers over £488,000 per year (between Aycliffe and Seaham)
The service says, because calls to emergency incidents are down by 33% in the Aycliffe area, the town is classified as a relatively low activity station.
And in response to reductions in government funding, the service is implementing DCP in order to reduce costs without impacting on front line service delivery.
Go to our Video Vault to see interviews with Darlington and Durham Fire and Rescue Service assistant chief fire officer Stuart Errington, and Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson, about the changes.