Burwell to get brand new fire station under merger plans

Burwell Fire Station

Burwell Fire Station - Credit: Archant

BURWELL is set to get a brand new fire station and training facility while Soham’s fire station has been spared from possible cuts, it was announced by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service this week.

Swaffham Bulbeck Fire Station.

Swaffham Bulbeck Fire Station. - Credit: Archant

Burwell’s existing station, in Reach Road, is set to be demolished and a new station built across the road in a potential land-swap deal with Cambridgeshire County Council.

As part of the plan, the under-utilised and Swaffham Bulbeck station, which sits just three miles away, will be closed and the crew merged into the Burwell setup.

Meanwhile, the fire service confirmed this week that plans to remove the second fire engine from Soham had been abondoned.

Chris Strickland, deputy chief fire officer, said: “The county council has agreed to swap the land for a piece of land at Burwell and on that site we will build a bespoke fire station with training facility so firefighters don’t have to travel to other stations in the county to train.

“We will be putting two crews into one which will mean crews that are 100 per cent reliable and lead to a more resilient service.”

The cash-strapped service has been reviewing all its facilities across the county in recent months and the stations at Burwell and Swaffham Bulbeck came under particular scrutiny.

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In a report published this week, the service said that the station at Swaffham was in a “poor state of repair” and added that it was not feasible to bring it up to standard.

Figures released by the service show that the crew at Swaffham have been called out 153 times in the last five years, albeit 61 of those calls were false alarms and only 42 of the remaining incidents involved any action being carried out.

The service said that it had had difficulty recruiting staff from Swaffham to man the station, to the extent that during the day the appliance “has, for many years, been permanently unavailable”.

A final decision on the proposal is due at a meeting of the Fire Authority on Monday.