THE county fire service has revealed that a review into firefighters’ shifts will see a reduction in 17 posts, but no job losses will take place as those affected are all set to retire.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service says that the full-time crew changes would save around £500,000 - with the plans set to be completed by the middle of 2013.
The changes have come about following a review which began in 2010. It included a consultation with wholetime staff and the Fire Brigades Union.
A report to the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority scrutiny and performance committee stated: “The rationale for carrying out these reviews was that we should continually review our processes to ensure that the service provided maximised value while maintaining community safety and, under no circumstances, compromising firefighter safety.
“The changes to the wholetime crewing system will result in a reduction of 17 posts.
“This will save around £500,000 revenue once the 17 posts (16 firefighters and a global crewing manager) have been reduced, all due to retirement, in line with the needs of the new crewing model, by no later than mid-2013 (subject to staff retiring when they are able to).”
The changes have been agreed following “constructive” talks with watch-based staff via the union.
The report also stated: “Not only has the principle of safeguarding firefighter safety been achieved, the new system plans to remove the often conflicting need to crew appliances and attend safety critical training.
“The agreement and implementation of this crewing model is a demonstration of the desire of the service to include all staff in designing a service for the future that accommodates the need for revenue reductions while not compromising firefighter and community safety.”
This comes as the service continues in its quest to make up for a £4 million shortfall in funding by 2014-15.