Cambridgeshire merged firefighters to move to new station

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Two fire stations in Cambridgeshire are to close and their crews merge at a newly-built location next summer.

The fire authority is to close Swaffham Bulbeck and move crews to a new larger fire station at Burwell.

The new station will include a training facility and the larger crew number will allow fire engines to be available for more time, the fire authority said.

The Fire Brigades Union said it would take longer for crews to reach Swaffham Bulbeck and merging meant less service.

"Because we are rural it takes longer for fire engines to reach outlying places so attendance times will be reduced," Fire Brigades Union county chairman Cameron Matthews said.

'Not feasible'

"A whole station has been taken out and that is a loss of resources. We campaigned so strongly to protect the resources and we hope the loss does not have the impact on people we fear."

Cambridgeshire's deputy chief fire officer, Chris Strickland, said the combined fire station was part of a "long-term" plan.

"It is not feasible to bring either Swaffham or Burwell stations up to modern day standards, or to provide a proper practical training facility," he said.

"By pulling these two crews together, we are putting them in the best location to deliver a better service to the community."

Of the 152 responses received to the consultation in May and June, 88% were in favour of amalgamation.

It is hoped building work will begin on a new Burwell Fire Station near the current location in January next year, with the amalgamation of crews in the summer.

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