DOWNHAM fire station is set to close under proposals unveiled by the London Fire Brigade with 520 jobs lost across London.

At a meeting held at LFB headquarters on January 11 it was revealed there are plans to close 12 stations including Downham, in Reigate Road.

However Orpington fire station will gain equipment with two fire engines instead of one.

The draft Fifth London Safety Plan, presented by London Fire commissioner Ron Dobson, contained proposals intended to save £28.8m over the next two years while maintaining response targets.

Although it is thought 520 firefighter and officer jobs will be lost, Mr Dobson said "no compulsory redundancies were planned".

He added: "I am bracing myself for difficult discussions with the Bromley Fire Brigades Union (LFB) over the next few weeks.
"I’m sure they won’t like these proposals and will say the plan will endanger lives.

"However no lives will be put at risk by these changes."

Secretary for the LFB union Eddie Thompson said closures to stations around Bromley would "dramatically impact" on call out times.

He said: "Firefighters will have to decide whether to go in and save someone’s life or play by the rules.
"We don’t want that dilemma."

Tina Hunwick, who watched her house go up in flames in February, told News Shopper at the end of last year that cuts to fire services would make an "astronomical difference".

The 43-year-old, who now lives in Hillview Drive in Orpington, had to be re-housed when her previous home, in Petersham Drive, was destroyed by fire.

She said: "If it had been the case when it happened to me, they wouldn’t have been able to get there in time."

London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority members will discuss the plan on January 21 and a final decision is expected to be made at the authority meeting on June 20 following a public consultation.

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