Implementation of the final phase of changes to crewing levels

In December 2017, the Tyne and Wear Fire Authority approved the previously agreed proposal to change the level of crewing from 5 to 4, on fire engines at 9 stations. This was an essential decision in order for the Service to balance available resources against risks to firefighters and the community. The implementation of the decision was phased, with four stations – Wallsend, Marley Park, Hebburn and Birtley – all having 4 firefighters in their crews from 1st January 2018.

The final phase of the decision will now be implemented at 9am on June 1st, with West Denton, Newcastle Central, Rainton Bridge, Sunderland Central and Swalwell Community Firestations all ‘riding’ with a crew of 4.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Alan Robson commented:

“Since the implementation of the Fire Authority’s decision in January 2018, we have closely monitored the first four stations that adopted the change. This information has further confirmed our belief that in making the change we would not increase risk to either firefighters or to our communities. The first phase has been effective and we will now be rolling out the final phase on June 1st.”

The proposal and subsequent decision was made as part of TWFRS’ Integrated Risk Management Plan. It followed extensive public consultation, consideration of the technical advances in our firefighting equipment, the Service’s successful approach to fire prevention, additional research and analysis – including information from other fire services who, similar to ourselves, currently operate this level of firefighter cover. This intelligence led us to believe that the decision would not present any further risk to firefighters nor the professional and dedicated service provided to the community.

The Fire Authority have also made a commitment that should the financial position of the Authority improve significantly in future years, this and other decisions implemented through our Integrated Risk Management process will be reviewed.