Search

Battle to save Hornchurch’s specialist fire rescue unit lost as engine set to go off duty for last time tomorrow

12:42 08 January 2014

Fire Brigades Union rep Joe MacVeigh

Fire Brigades Union rep Joe MacVeigh

Archant

The battle to save Hornchurch Fire Station’s specialist fire rescue unit is set to end in failure tomorrow morning as the engine goes off duty for the last time.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) estimates the engine has saved 100 lives following road crashes, floods and other hazards – but from 9.30am the borough’s nearest FRU will be the one 10 miles away at East Ham.

The decision, driven by budget cuts, is part of the Draft Fifth London Safety Plan, under which 10 stations across the capital will close.

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) man and former Hornchurch firefighter Joe MacVeigh, of Gidea Park, told the Romford Recorder the fire brigade was making “a huge mistake”.

“People will die because that machine is not there,” he said.

The LFB has hit back angrily at claims it is endangering lives. Its figures show Hornchurch’s FRU is called out less frequently than others across London, although union data suggest it carries out more rescues per 100 call-outs than the average, redressing the balance.

In addition, data obtained from the LFB and the FBU last year suggested its number of rescues per 100 call-outs was increasing – from 35 across the three years to August, to 43 in the final 16 months.

Havering is among London’s worst areas for serious and fatal road crashes. For the period 2009-12, the borough came second out of London’s 32 for the number of crash fatalities.

Havering and neighbouring Redbridge are also in the top 10 for injuries and serious injuries sustained in road crashes.

“On average, FRUs spend 4pc of their operational time at incidents,” an LFB spokesman said today. “Hornchurch is one of the four quietest FRU stations and because we plan our emergency cover on a pan-London basis other stations equipped with FRUs will still provide sufficient coverage to the area.”

He added the number of fires in London had halved in the last decade.

A judicial review mounted last year against the plan by seven London boroughs, not including Havering, was unsuccessful, as was a campaign by Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas to save the Hornchurch engine.

LFEPA chairman James Cleverly said: “If you dial 999 and need a fire engine, we still aim to have one with you within six minutes and a second, if needed, within eight.”

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 16:30
A dream came true for six-year-old Ishmael Belony. Picture: Griffiths Photographers.

A brave boy who spent nearly the first year of his life in hospital got the chance to walk out with some of his football idols.

Yesterday, 15:08
Rainham and Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas in Parliament talking about Orchard Village Picture credit: parliamentlive.tv

A social housing estate, which has become notorious for its hosts of problems, was the subject of a Parliamentary debate on Friday.

Yesterday, 14:27
Havering currently has 1,469 council-owned garages which are empty or in disrepair.

More than 600 homes could be created in the borough if garages sitting empty were developed, a study has revealed.

Yesterday, 11:17
Queen's Hospital in Romford is the flagship of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

A woman who has stayed in hospital for seven months over an undiagnosed condition claims to have been told by a doctor in A&E she would have to wait 22 hours in a wheelchair before being seen.

Yesterday, 07:00
Tom Wilson in action for Old Loughts against former club Havering, a month before his tragic death (pic: TGS Photo)

A fund dedicated to raising awareness of organ donation after a hockey player died following a “freak accident”, has gained official charity status.

Sunday, January 15, 2017
Cole Hockett will be climbing Snowdon and the seven peaks of the Snowdon National Park to raise money for the National Autism Society and raise awareness of autism.

A walking enthusiast will be making his way to the top of Snowdon in a bid to raise further awareness and money for an autism charity.

Sunday, January 15, 2017
Sylvia Williams, Andy Brett, Lin Wilcox, Dick Williams, Deputy Mayor Cllr. Linda van den Hende, Dave Wilcox, Steven Deer, Alf Ellis, JeffOliver. Picture Jeff Oliver photography

Whether it was intentional or by complete accident, most of us have taken a selfie at some point in our lives.

Saturday, January 14, 2017
The female-only marching band has performed before audiences across Europe.

A marching band exclusively for young girls and women is starting the year with a drive for new recruits.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

MyOffers H&M Competition

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now