Clerkenwell firefighters vow to fight closure plan that they say ‘will put lives in danger’
PUBLISHED: 15:36 11 January 2013 | UPDATED: 10:33 14 January 2013
Firefighters have warned lives could be endangered as they vowed to fight plans to close one of Islington’s stations.
Clerkenwell fire station in Rosebery Avenue was today officially earmarked for closure by the London Fire Brigade (LFB) – and firefighters have reacted angrily to the news.
Neil Walker, a firefighter at Clerkenwell and Islington’s Fire Brigades Union (FBU) rep, said: “It’s devastating. People’s lives are going to be in danger.
“The time taken for other fire crews to get to Clerkenwell is going to increase and seconds are vital in our job.
“Once again Boris Johnson has put money before people’s lives.
“We’re not going to let these cuts go through without a fight.”
The closures will go ahead this autumn if they are rubber-stamped following a period of consultation.
The announcement comes after Clerkenwell was included in a leaked list of stations that could be axed, which emerged in October.
Greg Edwards, another FBU rep based at Clerkenwell, said: “It isn’t a surprise, but we can’t understand why it is going to be closed, because we know how much work we do in the area and I don’t know how that’s going to be replaced.
“As firefighters, we’re here to do what we can to help people, we’re not here to walk away from things. This is not why we’re in the service.
“We’re disappointed in the politicians and our commissioner, but we’re going to fight this. We’re not going to give up – that’s not in our natures. We’re going to take them on.”
Clerkenwell, the oldest operational station in London, is one of 12 stations set for the chop under plans put together in a bid to save £28.8million over the next two years.
Kingsland station in Hackney, which attends many fires in Islington, is also earmarked for closure.
Despite being on the original leaked list, Islington fire station in Upper Street was not part of today’s announcement.
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