Lichfield residents have been advised to set fire to their own homes well before 8pm if they are hoping for a response from Lichfield’s firefighters. Lichfield Fire Station manager Damian “Stretch” Armstrong said:
‘Lichfield Community Fire Station & Crèche is staffed throughout the day between 8am and 8pm. Any emergency calls outside of those hours may be covered by on-call firefighters from somewhere else in Staffordshire. So if you’re planning to torch the house or cause a major RTA for goodness sake do so well before 8pm.
‘Oh and try to avoid weekends and public holidays. And any particularly cold or wet days. Or any time during school holidays or major sporting events for that matter.’
Concern about lack of adequate cover for Lichfield has been highlighted by a delay of almost half an hour by fire crews responding to a 10.21pm alarm at David Garrick Gardens retirement homes. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said the nearest available crews were at a Christmas party in Rugeley at the time.
Local MP Michael Fabricant is not impressed, he said:
‘With any local issue my first question is “What does this mean to me?” Well my grace and favour luxury chambers in Cathedral Close are particularly vulnerable to fire, so I wrote to my office, made an appointment and raised my concerns with myself.
‘I have deep misgivings that the totally inadequate fire cover in Lichfield is entirely due to management incompetence and nothing whatsoever to do with my Government’s £5 million funding cuts.’
The Conservative Police & Crime Commissioner, Matthew Ellis agrees, he commented:
‘I should take control of the Fire service management as I’m looking to considerably enhance my already enormous salary. I’ve heard many people say “Fire Police & Crime Commissioner” in support of my proposal. I think that’s what they mean anyway.’
David Garrick Gardens resident Steve Applecox, 75, confessed that he had caused the fire scare, he explained:
‘I’d been drinking in the Dr Johnson pub since 5pm celebrating a goal by Lichfield FC. I staggered home about 10pm and fired up the deep fat fryer. Next thing I know the kitchen is alight and the alarm is blaring out, woke me up it did. And the lazy bastards didn’t turn up for half an hour.
‘I’ll be sure to get home pissed well before 8pm next weekend.’
Anyone wishing to organise an event at Lichfield Community Fire Station & Crèche should call 01785 898040