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Fire Stations (Location And Siting)

Volume 529: debated on Thursday 8 July 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of its general importance to civil defence, he will appoint a committee to examine and report upon the location and siting of fire stations.

No, Sir. The peace and war-time considerations are quite different. For peace-time purposes it is necessary for fire stations to be situated close to the risks they protect. As I stated in the civil defence debate on 5th July, the war-time fire service will be nationalised and essentially mobile, with the bulk of the personnel and equipment organised in mobile columns available for operation anywhere.

Will the Home Secretary agree that the possibility of atomic warfare has entirely changed the nature of the demand likely to be made on civil defence, and that an essential part of the structure of civil defence lies in the fire stations? In view of this, will the Home Secretary look at this problem again, whether or not he accepts this as a solution?

Certainly. As I have told the House, I am going into the whole matter and I shall be very glad to pay special attention to what the hon. Gentleman has said. I should be grateful if he would perhaps elaborate his idea a little more.

When looking into this problem will my right hon. and learned Friend take into account the facilities in the control of local industries because the great cost of maintaining fire brigades throughout the country could be minimised to a great extent if full account was taken of the fire-fighting equipment stationed throughout the various industrial establishments?