Battle Fire Station meeting - Figures that don’t quite add up

A FEW eyebrows were raised when it was revealed that, according to ESFRS statistics, Battle Fire Station is responsible for just two homes in the whole of Salehurst Ward - which has a population of roughly four and a half thousand people.

The news came as a surprise to long-standing district councillor Sue Prochak, who told the meeting: “I’m concerned about the figures the other councillors on the Fire Authority are getting.

“The figures I have got for Salehurst Ward - Robertsbridge, Bodiam and Hurst Green - is that we have only got two households.”

The service claims that much of the Robertsbridge area falls into the Burwash Fire Station catchment.

But there are concerns about the retained fire station as figures revealed the crews fail to turn out to 72 percent of calls because of a lack of staff available, particularly during week days.

And when they do turn out, there is no guarantee that all are qualified to use breathing apparatus, of which there has to be at least two.

Cllr Prochak said: “Burwash fails 70-odd percent of the time because you need four firefighters to get on the machine.

“And what happens? Battle steps in.

“But it is not included in the figures.”

Concerns have been raised that call outs picked up by Battle when Burwash isn’t available have still been logged as being attended by Burwash, rather than Battle.

Jim Parrott, national executive of the Fire Brigades Union, branded the ESFRS consultation “a dishonest document”.