Thursday, 24 October 2013

Save Heanor Fire Station

Not so long ago I mentioned the possible closure of Heanor Fire Station as part of a parcel of cuts to the Fire Service in Derbyshire (`Catch a Fire ?`, this blog, 11 October 2013).

There is now a fledgling campaign against the closure.

Particularly good was an eloquent letter to the local paper ( ) by  a local resident which appeared under the heading `Vital Community Role for Fire Crews` in the issue dated Thurs 24 Oct 2013.

Like me, the writer picked up on the strong sense of community prevalent among the retained firefighters of Heanor , giving details of various activities undertaken by the crew locally. One in particular  may be worth highlighting here  ;

"When Coppice Primary School were celebrating their 60th anniversary the local fire crew came to our summer fair event with their fire engine and four crew members. They did this entirely voluntarily giving up their own time to support our event and more importantly to let our children experience a fire engine close up." 

There is now a Facebook group , `Save Heanor Fire Station`, begun by firefighter Alistair Patrick, who points out, tellingly, that the Heanor crew have experience totalling over 100 years between them. In that context I would just re-iterate my earlier point that an area like this with a heavy engineering presence throws up situations, e.g. chemical spills, rarely if ever experienced by crews elsewhere.

A problem with the Facebook campaign is that it does not really show up on most search engines. You can be sure the Fire Authority will be checking online to assess strength of feeling on the issue and at present there is little to see by just making general searches. That is why experienced campaigners usually use a blog or website in addition to social networking sites. This article is my own humble contribution to addressing this issue !

It is early days yet and I understand a petition is being circulated locally, which may generate more media attention.

I`m not a Facebook type of guy myself, but the FB campaign is an open group headed `Save Heanor Fire Station`. I`ve mentioned this before, but here are some other links that may proves useful ;

It is worth mentioning that two other stations in Amber Valley, Crich and Alfreton, are also facing possible closuure. I assume their will be grassroots campaigns organised in those areas too, but I`m not aware of any details.

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