Berkshire

Windsor Fire Station 'too small' fire engine criticised

Windsor fire crew by Windsor Castle
Image caption Windsor Castle was largely destroyed by fire in November 1992

A fire union has criticised plans to keep Windsor Fire Station open 24 hours a day - with a smaller fire engine.

The fire authority agreed the plans last month following a five-year battle to save the station from night closure.

The Berkshire Fire Brigades Union (BFBU) said the proposed vehicle for Windsor was just a "souped-up van" and only deal with bin and grass fires.

The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service said the plans were under consultation until 3 January.

BFBU chairman Maurice Whyte said he had consulted with members about the proposal, and found they were not in favour.

He said the local fire engine planned for Windsor, with a crew of three rather than the usual five would not be able to be used in case of a house fire.

'Souped-up van'

"What the fire authority is proposing is a souped-up van with a crew of three.

"When you attend a fire you need appropriate resources. An undersized fire engine with a minimum crew is not an appropriate resource."

Mr Whyte said the type of firefighting vehicle planned for Windsor would typically only deal with bin and grass fires.

In a statement, the fire service said: "A senior officer is currently researching the most effective format for the local fire engine, in terms of vehicle type, equipment and size of crew and will take into account the views of staff and unions.

"The final decision will be based upon the most suitable option."

The fire service originally proposed shutting Windsor Fire Station from 20:00 to 08:00 because it only averaged three calls a week at night.

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