Budleigh firefighters moving to Exmouth when the station closes will not have an engine to ride on.
The fire service said the Budleigh crew will help keep the Exmouth retained pump fully-operational, and have its own fire engine ‘removed’.
If an additional fire engine is needed it will have to come from the next nearest available crew.
Currently Budleigh’s on-call crew and fire engine is two-and-a-half miles away from Exmouth’s whole-time crew and retained firefighters, plus two fire engines.
Budleigh’s fire station is to close by April as part of cost-cutting measures by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS).
DSRFS cost-cutting proposals included closing Topsham fire station but the decision was taken to relocate the crew as a result of the Safer Together public consultation.
The fire service defended its decision to take back Budleigh’s appliance when its crew responds from Exmouth, saying the town’s station was a ‘closure’ but Topsham was a ‘station relocation’.
A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Service managers have been in discussions with firefighters at Budleigh and we’re pleased that many of them are able to respond to Exmouth fire station when an incident occurs.
“The Budleigh firefighters would join the Exmouth on-call establishment, bringing with them additional skills such as blue light driving and incident command, which will increase the resilience of the Exmouth on-call appliance.
“When the appliance currently based at Budleigh is no longer required, it will re-join the service fleet to be used at other locations.
“Exmouth will retain its existing two fire appliances, specialist rescue appliance, marine crafts for water rescue and support vehicles.
“If an additional appliance was required, the next nearest available appliance at that time would attend.”
The spokesman added: “The Budleigh firefighters would join the team that operates the Exmouth on-call appliance. This will help keep the appliance fully crewed when firefighters need to go off-call or are on leave or training.
“We’re constantly moving our appliances around so it hasn’t been confirmed now where Budleigh’s pump will go once it is absorbed into the fleet. It will go where it is required.
“The plan is for the firefighters to move to Exmouth by April so the station would close then and the former Budleigh appliance would be removed.”
The fire service said Topsham’s two appliances will initially move one-a-half miles away to DSFRS headquarters, at Clyst St George.
One of Topsham’s fire engines will be stationed at Middlemoor once an on-call crew can be formed.
The fire service spokesman said: “The decision to relocate rather than close Topsham is as a result of the consultation and the data showing the level of risk in the two areas.
“We have at least five members of staff working full-time at service headquarters who are also part of the Topsham on-call establishment and would be able to mobilise from service headquarters during weekdays, which is traditionally when we struggle to keep our on-call appliances available with sufficient crew.”