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Future of market town’s fire engine still being considered

PUBLISHED: 06:30 09 June 2020 | UPDATED: 09:44 09 June 2020

Fakenham's fire fighters with the two engines they are set to keep PICTURE: Matthew Farmer

Fakenham's fire fighters with the two engines they are set to keep PICTURE: Matthew Farmer

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The future of a north Norfolk town’s second fire engine is still being considered.

Fakenham fire service watch manager Gary Thorpe.  Picture: Ian BurtFakenham fire service watch manager Gary Thorpe. Picture: Ian Burt

Early last year Fakenham fire service was told it could keep both its fire engines after it was threatened with losing one.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service had said it was removing one of two appliances at Fakenham, replacing it with a smaller 4x4 vehicle.

ButLast July, Clive Wells, who manages the eastern fire district, which includes Fakenham and the north Norfolk coast, said that the removal the second appliance from Fakenham had been “put away” for now.

Tim Edwards, assistant chief fire officer, said: “Discussions around potentially removing one of those appliances were paused last year so that we could fully consider the plans in our new integrated risk management plan (IRMP).

Fakenham town mayor, Gilly Foortse. Picture: FAKENHAM TOWN COUNCILFakenham town mayor, Gilly Foortse. Picture: FAKENHAM TOWN COUNCIL

“All our fleet is being reviewed to ensure we continue to provide the most effective fire and rescue service for Norfolk in the future.”

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The watch manager at Fakenham fire station, Gary Thorpe, said there had been no new indication from Norfolk County Council that there were plans to take away the second fire engine.

But Mr Thorpe said the station would continue to operate effectively even if it only had one fire engine.

Assistant chief fire officer, Tim Edwards.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAssistant chief fire officer, Tim Edwards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It would not put people’s lives at risk if we were to go down to the one engine, but it is nice to have the two,” he said.

“We would insist that we would receive a replacement vehicle to serve the community.”

Mr Thorpe said the county council was preparing new vehicles for other stations, and Fakenham would be happy to receive a second-hand vehicle.

Mr Thorpe, who is also a town councillor, said the station has always had two engines. and he would like this to be the case when he left. He said: “I have been in charge for ten years, and I like to think the station will be in the same condition I found it in.”

He also said that the new 4x4 will hopefully be at the station in July.

Fakenham mayor, Gilly Foortse said: “‘Our successful fight last year to retain our second fire appliance was vindicated yet again by the splendid response of our firefighters to the fire in Oak Street attended within minutes by both appliances.”


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