Topsham says goodbye to first fire engine as town’s station closure begins

Topsham has lost the first of its two fire engines after the fire service last week permanently moved one of the vehicles three miles away to Middlemoor.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS) said the first of the town’s two fire engines was removed from Topsham on Friday, November 6, as part of the station’s planned closure.

The town’s second fire engine, and remaining crew, will leave Topsham in December and move into a new facility – just over one mile away – at fire service headquarters, based in Clyst St George, said DSFRS.

The closure of Topsham fire station was decided in January as part of the DSFRS cost-cutting consultation, Safer Together.

The community could be given the chance to buy the former fire station after it shuts.

A fire service spokesperson said: “The first of two fire engines – the reserve appliance – transferred from Topsham to Middlemoor on Friday 6 November.

“The second fire engine and remaining crew will relocate to a new facility at service headquarters, Clyst St George, next month.”

The fire service said the planned closure and move – agreed in January by the Fire Authority – had to be delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The DSFRS spokesperson said: “In January, the Fire Authority decided to relocate Topsham Fire Station.

“The two fire engines based in Topsham will transfer to two new facilities at Middlemoor and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service’s Headquarters in Clyst St George.

“Most of the firefighters will transfer, ensuring local knowledge is retained.

“Recent new recruits from the local area will also support the relocation.”

They added: “The crew at Middlemoor is now established and includes existing firefighters as well as recruits who have recently completed their training.”

DSFRS said the new arrangements would allow the service to ‘continue to have flexibility in providing emergency response cover for Topsham and the surrounding area, and will build greater resilience for Exeter’.

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