Parish councils have given their support to moves to retain a fire service at Snainton where the village’s long standing station faces closure.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has begun a 12-week public consultation on the proposal says County Cllr David Jeffels, whose Seamer and Derwent Valley Division is covered by the station’s team of firefighters, as well as part of Ryedale.
Cllr Jeffels said: “The news has come as a big blow because there were plans to build a new station some time ago. The Snainton station has served the Vale of Pickering community extremely well over many decades and its present team is probably one of the most skilled and dedicated anywhere in the county.”
He said the main arguement for the closure being forward by the Fire Service were that the building has a life of only three years because of its condition, and the area covered by the station can be served by brigades from Scarborough, Pickering and Sherburn.
Cllr Jeffels said: “The Snainton team of firefighters has played a key part in helping with flooding incidents in such places as Pickering, Cayton and Filey. Their record in quick response to incidents appears to be second to none. It is also well trained in dealing with road accidents.
“The station is, I believe, ideally situated, being on the A170 road, within easy access to the A64, as well as to the forestry and moors north of the village in the North York Moors National Park.”
Already, the parish councils at East and West Ayton, Hutton Buscel, Seamer and Crossgates and Snainton have given their support towards the fire station, and further support is expected from others at meetings being held shortly.
The fire service is to hold a day-long event at Snainton Village Hall on August 11 to discuss its plans with the public.
Cllr Jeffels said: “While the Scarborough and Pickering brigades are only about 10 miles from Snainton the volume of traffic on the A170 has increased by over 20 per cent in the past few years which must have an impact on the response time of the other brigades.
“In the Snainton team there is a wealth of local knowledge on such things as outlying farms, listed buildings and remote areas.”
The county Fire Service says the consultation will cover the viability and possible closure of the Snainton station and the potential redeployment of affected personnel.
Nigel Hutchinson, the Chief Fire Officer, has said it is not a money saving exercise. “It is the product of an objective review of fire cover requirements for the Snainton area brought about by the current station having reached the end of its serviceable life,” he said.
Snainton Fire Station, in High Street, is crewed by on-call firefighters who respond to the fire station from their home or place of work.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has a total of 39 fire stations.
The consultation is currently open to all, with no firm decisions to be taken until all responses have been considered by the Fire Authority at its December meeting.