Saturday, 28 November 2020

Fire engine left grounded by lack of retained staff

THE fire engine in Watlington has not been able to respond to some emergency calls due to a lack of retained firefighters.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has admitted there is a shortage of on-call staff after concerns were raised at a meeting of Watlington Parish Council.

Councillor Barry Adby said: “We have had a couple of fires lately where it has taken a long time — in fact the Watlington pump has not turned out.”

On-call firefighters usually have a second job but must be within five minutes’ reach of their station. A spokesman for the fire and rescue service said it was trying to recruit more retained firefighters.

He said: “Watlington is an area where relatively fewer people work, meaning that sometimes during the day there is not the same level of on-call firefighter availability compared with other areas of the county.

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