SEVERAL changes to staffing are set to go ahead for Lancashire firefighters after talks over shift arrangements.

As revealed by the Lancashire Telegraph previously, the moves by the county brigade would leave less firefighters staffing East Lancs stations, against an overall establishment increase.

Hyndburn fire station is one of three locations - along with Lancaster and South Shore in Blackpool - which are set to see their establishment drop from 28 to 24.

And firefighter numbers will drop from 14 to 13 at three ‘day crew plus’ stations in East Lancashire - Darwen, Rawtenstall and Nelson. Bacup, which has a ‘flexible day crew’ system, will see a similar drop.

Other changes elsewhere will see Morecambe, Fleetwood and Skelmersdale change from day crew to wholetime shifts, increasing establishment numbers there from 14 to 24 each. The overall firefighters numbers will increase by eight countywide. Any changes will begin on March 1.

In a fire authority planning report, deputy chief fire officer Steve Healey said: "The service had hoped to introduce more flexible crewing arrangements if agreement could be reached with trade unions.

"However, the proposed flexible wholetime duty system was not agreed by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU). The service subsequently proposed a trial of flexible rota management and leave arrangements, however an agreement could not be reached on this either.

"Therefore, changes of duty systems at some stations will still take place but with the re-introduction of the 2-2-4 wholetime duty system with 24 members of staff as opposed to flexible wholetime."

He confirmed affected staff had been consulted and offered shift switches, where possible.

It is estimated it costs £880,000 a year to run a DCP-crewed fire engine, compared to £1.34m for a wholetime one.

Elsewhere the service plans to use new software to support 'dynamic cover' operations for busy periods and has invested in four new off-road fire appliances.

New flood water incident managers and tactical advisors will be deployed, as will a new 45m aerial ladder platform, based at Preston, and two water towers, for St Anne's and Lancaster. A review of on-call staff and specials is ongoing.