Fire fighters concerned over exhaust fumes at Redruth station
FIRE fighters at Redruth Fire station are concerned that the exhaust extraction system is leaking deadly fumes in the appliance bay.
The retained fire fighting crew at the station say the ventilation system – which should take exhaust fumes out of the appliance bay – is still “not fit for purpose” despite ongoing repairs. .
The fire fighters, who voiced their concerns to a Cornwall Councillor, say it adds insult to injury in the light of staff shortages.
“It is a complete and absolute mess,” said Cornwall Councillor for Redruth North, Lisa Dolley.
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“They have been without a ventilation system for months, which had the potential to delay them by several minutes and slow down their response times.
“Now the fire service tells me it is being fixed, but my source tells me that it does not fit the appliance properly, which is leaking fumes in the appliance bay.”
“Some work has been done on the ventilation system but fire fighters tell me it is still not fit for purpose.”
The latest concerns follow reports that the broken extraction system – which was removed earlier this year – may have been putting lives at risk by delaying call-out times by several minutes because fire fighters had to follow a lengthy evacuation procedure before they could go on a shout.
Under new rule imposed since the system broke down, the fire crew had to open the front and back doors; shut the door to the watch room; evacuate all personnel and drive the fire engine out on low revs.
Once the fire engine was on the forecourt, they were instructed to leave the doors open for five to ten minutes.
Mrs Dolley said that she saw the fire station door left open after the crew went out on a shout on one occasion.
Repairs were started on the ventilation system two weeks ago, but they are ongoing.
Andy Barrett, area manager for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, said on Fridayaug 9: “The majority of the repairs to the extraction system have been carried out – there are some minor adjustments to be made which are scheduled to be completed today.”
Two on-call firefighters are on sick leave at the fire station; one has resigned, two have joined the whole-time service and a sixth member of staff has been suspended over a disciplinary matter.
Redruth fire station is being replaced by a new station at Tolvaddon in May next year.
A new station is also planned at Hayle.