Windsor Fire Station
The station ground is very expansive and covers central Windsor, West Windsor, Fifield, Winkfield, The Great Park, Old Windsor and South Datchet covering a substantial population.
Upon the station ground, there is the largest inhabited Castle in the world –Windsor! The most popular tourist destination in the UK is here too - Legoland. We have over 6 million visitors each year, with over 10% staying overnight in the towns expanding range of hotels and guest houses. In the Windsor area we have over 900 historic buildings.
Due to the presence of the Royal family, Windsor is considered to be at risk of terrorist attack (The police regularly patrol the streets prior to, and during the Change of Guard and Windsor Castle has intensified its security)
The town has 2 shopping centres, 2 hospitals, 3 industrial estates, 3 marinas upon the busy river Thames, 5 high rise buildings, a major racecourse, a football stadium and leisure centre. We have numerous schools and residential care homes too.
There are also 2 army barracks in Windsor. Combermere Barracks has been the posting of both Princes Harry and William.
There are 4 ‘black spots’ for road traffic collisions: The Windsor and Eton Relief Road, Drift Road, Sheet Street Road and Oakley Green Road.
Windsor Fire Station plays an important role in backing up other station grounds, most notably Slough and Langley. Windsor is also called to Maidenhead, Ascot and Bracknell on a regular basis.
Windsor Fire station has two appliances. The Water Tender Ladder and the Incident Control Unit. The former is a fire and rescue vehicle which carries over 360 items of equipment and is crewed by 5/6 personnel. The latter is a specialist command and control appliance for use on all large incidents involving 5 or more appliances. It has been used at the Windsor Castle blaze, the Upton Nervet rail crash and a recent fire on the Slough Trading Estate. Its purpose is to ensure fire service resources are correctly and safely applied at larger incidents.
There are four watches (shifts) stationed at Windsor –red, green, blue and white. There are seven Firefighters on each watch and it takes 3 years to qualify as a Firefighter, plus many more to build up an expansive skills base. Each watch works in rotation and completes 48 hours work over 4 days (2x 9hour days, followed by 2x 15 hour nights)
The Fire Brigades Union
This is the trade union which the majority of Firefighters belong to. Generally speaking, each station has a ‘Branch’, which holds regular meetings on local and national matters. We elect Branch Officials such as a Chair, Secretary and Representatives who deal with the running of the Branch.
My name is Michael Rowley and I am the Branch Representative at Windsor Fire Station. I am an operational Firefighter too, and in my 26th year of service. I hold the Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, plus the Queens Golden Jubilee Fire Service Medal.
I am a resident of Old Windsor and have lived within the Royal Borough for most of my career.
I will be campaigning to keep Windsor Fire Station a 24/7 emergency service for the public and Firefighters of Windsor and east Berkshire.
Richard Coates is a former Senior Fire Officer and is presently a Fire Consultant. Richard is a local resident in Horton near Datchet and is an ardent campaigner for keeping 24 hour cover at Windsor Fire Station. Richard has attended numerous Fire Authority meetings and has submitted many of the following questions to that body, which are reproduced here.