Frequently Asked Questions

This section provides some information on questions and observations that we have encountered during the consultation process. This will be updated through the course of the consultation as we engage with different people.

What is an IRMP?

All fire and rescue authorities in England are required to produce an Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP). This outlines fire and rescue related risks, how the Authority is structured and how it allocates its resources to mitigate these risks. Within our draft IRMP we outline our proposals for the next four years that will enable us to address these risks and meet new challenges.

How have these proposals come about?

The Fire Authority asked officers to undertake a review of the whole fire and rescue service to ensure that its fire prevention, fire protection and emergency response functions were aligned to future risks and priorities.  In addition, the Authority had previously asked officers to review proposals for the crewing arrangements at Wilmslow and Penketh Fire Stations, the Authority’s third aerial appliance and the second fire engine at Ellesmere Port Fire Station.

The proposals within the draft IRMP are the outcomes of these reviews.

What is a high-reach extendable turret?

One of our proposals is to replace the third aerial appliance (currently at Macclesfield) and a fire engine with a High-Reach Extendable Turret (HRET). This is because the aerial appliance at Macclesfield is at the end of its service life.

A HRET has the functionality of a traditional fire engine, but has a large extendable boom on it which can very effectively apply water from height onto a fire. There is also a spike on the end of this boom that can be used to pierce structures such as roofs and walls and apply water to aid firefighting.

Do you rescue people from fires using aerial appliances?

Our aerial appliances are most frequently used as water towers to apply water onto fires from a height. Occasionally, they are used to rescue people in a non-fire situation (e.g. someone trapped at height). Even on a national basis, it is very rare to rescue someone from fire using an aerial appliance. 

Why are you proposing to move the Ellesmere Port fire engine to Powey Lane?

Our previous Emergency Response Programme incorporated the development of Powey Lane Fire Station to improve response times across a large area. This was done by moving the second fire engine at Chester to Powey Lane. The other element of the programme was that the second fire engine at Ellesmere Port would then change from whole-time (24/7) to on-call.

The Fire Authority reviewed this plan in February 2018 and it was found that having the second fire engine at Ellesmere Port on an on-call basis would not be sustainable or value for money. This is because it would go to a very low number of incidents. This is because the engine at Powey Lane would often be mobilised to attend alongside the first fire engine at Ellesmere Port, as it would be quicker than the on-call engine.

The Authority then asked officers to review where in Cheshire this resource could be placed to provide the best outcomes for the community against providing sustainability and value for money.

The proposal is therefore to move the second fire engine at Ellesmere Port to Powey Lane and thus return the existing fire engine at the station back to Chester; leaving two fire engines in Chester and maintaining four whole-time fire engines across the Cheshire West and Chester borough. 

How much will your proposals cost?

Below is a summary of the high-level cost implications associated with the proposals. As these proposals are open for consultation and subject to approval, these costs may change as proposals are finalised and full project plans developed. Further information on costs can also be found within the draft IRMP.


Relocate the Second Fire Engine at Ellesmere Port Fire Station

Anticipated costs

No change from current budget


Replace the Third Aerial Appliance

Anticipated costs

+£290k capital cost

(-£410k capital saving based on replacing with a dedicated aerial appliance)


Expanding our fleet of Rapid Response Rescue Units

Anticipated costs

+£520k capital cost (largely funded through capital savings of replacing third aerial appliance with a high reach fire appliance)


Introducing a Day Crewing Duty System at Wilmslow Fire Station

Anticipated costs

-£183k revenue saving 

Capital cost of land acquisition and construction of housing accommodation yet to be fully determined.


Developing a wildfire capability

Anticipated costs

+£130k capital cost

How can I respond to the consultation?

You can respond by either:

  • Visiting our website to fill out an online survey
  • Visiting one of our consultation roadshows and completing a survey
  • Emailing
  • Getting in touch via Facebook (Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service) or Twitter (@CheshireFire)
  • Calling us on 010606 868700
Can I request a paper copy of the survey?

Our survey is online but we are handing out paper copies of the survey at our consultation roadshows, details of which we publish online. If you missed us at one of these events, you can either visit to fill out an online survey or request a paper copy.

To request a paper copy please call Graeme Worrall on 01606 868775, email or in writing to:

Graeme Worrall, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Clemonds Hey, Winsford, CW7 2UA

Can I find out more?

If you have any further questions then please get in touch using any of the details above to get some further assistance.

Why have you held an extra event in Ellesmere Port?

The extra roadshow in Ellesmere Port was in response to a claim that some people couldn’t find us easily at the original one. Therefore we decided to hold an extra event to give people an opportunity to have their say.

How would RRUs work in practice?

The Service already uses Rapid Response Units (RRUs) at its stations in Sandbach and Holmes Chapel to respond to road traffic collisions (RTCs).

Our proposal, if approved, would see a fleet of 13 RRUs (including the existing ones at Sandbach and Holmes Chapel), with an RRU at each of our primary on-call fire stations. Our on-call stations are staffed by firefighters who live or work within five minutes of the station and respond to emergencies when alerted by a pager. They typically have other primary employment.

RRUs would be crewed by a team of two firefighters who can attend RTCs to provide initial scene safety and casualty care. They are smaller than a fire engine so can reach a scene a bit quicker. If there is a full complement of staff available on station, then this could see both a RRU and fire engine attend an RTC.

We do not use RRUs to respond to fires in place of a fire engine. There may be very rare occasions where a fire call comes in when a RRU is returning back to station. In these circumstances a fire engine and RRU would travel to the fire in convoy so that the RRU, engine and crews arrive at the scene together.

Does the Fire Authority accept petitions?

The Fire Authority has an existing protocol to consider petitions that are submitted to it. You can find more information here - Petitions Protocol

How have you developed your proposals?

We have undertaken a significant amount of work to review the service and have considered and assessed several options before developing and consulting on our proposals.

Further information can be found by looking at the supplementary information section on the previous page.

Why are you only asking for my views on certain issues?

Some aspects of the draft IRMP relate to existing or business as usual activity, such as campaigns raising awareness of fire prevention or sprinklers. The Service also conducts reviews of its special appliances and evaluates the need for new equipment on a periodic basis as part of its normal business practices.

These are included within the draft IRMP for information in addition to the proposals that are subject to consultation. Where there may be a change to the services we provide to the public as a result of any of the reviews highlighted above, this may feature in consultations at a future date. Consultation mandate (new window, PDF 87KB)

Last updated: Thursday 12 March 2020