Protestors will march from Brixton Fire Station to Lambeth Town Hall tomorrow, in support of Clapham Fire Station.
The Clapham station is earmarked for closure under London Fire Brigade plans, a move that could increase emergency response times across Brixton, Clapham and Lambeth.
The demonstration, organised by the London Fire Brigades Union (FBU), will start at Brixton Fire Station at 6.30pm. It will then march to Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton Hill, where a consultation meeting is due to begin at 7pm.
Brian Mollaghan is the union rep at Clapham Fire Station. He said, “Clapham Fire Station covers many high rise estates like the Studley Road estate in Stockwell. These are like streets in the sky. Any incident will require at least four fire engines and it may take time to reach the fire in question if it is high up. Response time is vital.”
He added: “The London Fire Authority talks about the response time for one or two fire engines. This is irrelevant for a fire in a high rise building. We need many fire engines to arrive quickly”
Local politicians have spoken out against the planned closure. Chuka Umunna MP said: “Every second counts when it comes to tackling fires. It is intolerable that the government’s failing and discredited deficit reduction plan means it will take firefighters longer to get to my constituents in an emergency.
“I want as many people as possible to respond to the consultation to make it crystal clear that we think Clapham Fire Station must stay open after this plan is finalised.”
On Monday, Lambeth council launched a shocking video depicting the sound of a child struggling to breathe in a burning bedroom.
According to the LFB, response times to emergencies will rise in Clapham Common by 2.57mins and in Clapham Town by 3.57mins if the plans are implemented.
A LFB spokesperson said: “The proposals currently out for public consultation seek to maintain our London-wide response targets, which as a London-wide fire brigade is how we plan the service we provide.
“The ward level data shows how varied response times are across the capital. As is the case now, over half of all London wards would, on average, continue to get a first response within the six minute target if the proposals are agreed.”