Cornwall

Newquay to get 24-hour summer fire cover

A fire station in a popular tourist destination in Cornwall is to be staffed 24 hours a day for four months, the county's fire chief says.

Full-time cover at Newquay station will start in May, Chief Fire Officer Des Tidbury said.

It follows a trial last year which saw officers from other stations volunteer to cover Newquay during summer season.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said it was concerned the move would cause strain on cover county-wide.

'Tremendous' strain

Part-time retained crews usually provide cover for night-time cover for Newquay, which sees its population rise from 20,000 to a peak of 100,000 during the summer months.

Mr Tidbury said the 2010 trial proved the service could cover the town's station 24/7 without the need to pay overtime or recruit more crews.

He added that the trial did not result in other stations being understaffed, and that all other stations still had the required minimum five firefighters to man an appliance.

However, Mike Tremellin of the FBU said that, although all stations would be covered, it would mean there was no slack elsewhere in the county.

He said: "Stations around the county will be working to minimum crews. So if any people were off for any reason, it would put a tremendous amount of strain on the system."

Cornwall only has two full-time, 24-hour stations - Camborne and Falmouth.

Calls were made in 2007 for Newquay to become a 24-hour fire station following the Penhallow Hotel fire, which resulted in three deaths.

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