Three Cambridgeshire fire stations could shut by 2025, if new plans are approved.

The proposals involve the potential closure of Manea, Kimbolton and Sutton stations, which Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service say are "low risk stations".

The plans would see 19 on-call firefighters relocated to Ely and St Neots stations, which are deemed “high risk” by the service. While they are currently crewed five days a week by wholetime staff, the service says the aspiration is to make them seven-day crewed. 

The proposals are the result of an internally commissioned 'Operational Risk Response Project' that reviewed the service's operational delivery across the organisation.

The Hunts Post: Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service area commander Stuart SmithCambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service area commander Stuart Smith (Image: Cambs Fire)

Area commander Stuart Smith said: "We identified that there is a need for us to, as best we can, improve how we can guarantee weekend and day availability.

"We need to do that within current budget constraints, so the idea is to redistribute our resources to provide a better response and make our service more effective.

"Right now, we think this is the best thing to do moving forward."

He added that the proposals are "not about cutting the number of colleagues or fire engines. 

"It's not our fire stations that deal with incidents; it's the people, firefighters and fire engines - and they need to be in the right place at the right time to allow us to deal with those incidents."

The Hunts Post: Sutton fire stationSutton fire station (Image: Cambs Fire & Rescue Service) 

The current proposal will be discussed at a meeting of The Fire Authority on December 20 which members of the public are able to attend. 

A six-month period of in-person and online public engagement will follow. During this time, the service will also engage with the affected on-call firefighters. 

If the proposals are approved, Mr Smith said the plans "could become a reality by 2025".

Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service is predominantly an on-call service, with 21 of its stations being on-call. 

The service says it is actively recruiting on-call firefighters around the county, with Mr adding "we need people. 

The Hunts Post: Manea fire stationManea fire station (Image: Cambs Fire & Rescue Service)

"A lot of our towns and villages have fire stations that need the firefighters to enable the equipment and appliances to be operated."

Cambs Fire & Rescue Service was recently rated 'outstanding' by HRH Fire Service Inspectors and Mr added: "To maintain that, and continue to strive to be the best we can be, we have further improved skillsets across the county.

"Two colleagues have had animal rescue and water training. We've also bought new 4x4 vehicles for field fires which will help with flooding in the winter too, as well as different equipment to help us deal with wildfires and extra dams to deal with water."

"We're also looking at trialling new ways of working with our on-call service and our middle management team have had upgraded training."

The Hunts Post: Kimbolton fire stationKimbolton fire station (Image: Cambs Fire & Rescue Service)