Ford calls for adequate fire cover

South Antrim Alliance MLA David Ford has discussed the provision of fire and rescue services in the local area with Colin Lammey, Chief Fire Officer for Northern Ireland. David Ford pressed the case for improved cover at local fire stations, especially in Antrim and Ballyclare.

David Ford said: “The Fire and Rescue Service had intended to provide two full-time crews for Antrim station to cover the daytime shift when it is becoming increasingly difficult for retained firefighters to provide cover.

“Unfortunately, it now appears that the budget being given to the Fire Service will not be adequate for the staffing improvements that Mr Lammey wishes to make. Potentially, this will put lives at risk in the future.

“With the presence of increasing commercial activity, many new houses and similar growth in the surrounding towns and villages, increasing pressures are being placed on Antrim Fire Station.

“However, I was told that the capital budget, covering investments for the future, has been drastically cut from the Service’s original plans. This means that there will be inadequate funding to cover the replacement of fire appliances and repairs and replacements to fire stations.

“This could mean the withdrawal of one of the two fire engines at Ballyclare.

“I believe that the officials of the Fire and Rescue Service have a good plan for the provision of their lifesaving services to the people of South Antrim. But the Budget being put to the Assembly will place enormous pressure on firefighters in Glengormley, Antrim, Ballyclare and Crumlin – This is simply unacceptable.”


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