Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson given tour of new Formby

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson with Merseyside Fire Authority Vice Chairman Les Byrom and Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephenson.

Formby Labour MP Bill Esterson was given a tour of Formby Community Fire Station this week by Merseyside Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephenson and Merseyside Fire Authority Vice Chairman Cllr Les Byrom.

The MP got the chance to see the new hi-tech facilities at the station on Church Road.

Bill said he was extremely impressed by the new station.

He said: "I would like to thank Chief Fire Officer Stephenson and Cllr Byrom for taking the time out and showing me around this fantastic new community facility. It was fascinating to get an insight into just what our brave fire fighters do day in and day out.

"For instance, who would have known that half of a fire fighters' working day is taken up with training - two hours of which is in the classroom.

"But after Chief Fire Officer Stephenson and Cllr Byrom showed me around a fire engine and some of the equipment the fire fighters have to use, I can fully understand why there is so much training required. Fire fighting is a very skilled job.

"We know how brave our fire fighters are. It can be a very dangerous job, where they put their lives at risk in order to save others. A fact all too tragically illustrated with the recent death of Manchester fire fighter Stephen Hunt.

"Our fire fighters do a great job in keeping us safe, not just during times of fire, but also through working to ensure that we are all aware of the dangers of fire and how best to prevent it. That's why Merseyside has one of the strongest Fire and Rescue Services in the country."

Bill also heard how the new Formby Community Fire Station really is a community facility.

Bill said: "This new station is tailor-made for the fire service. It put the service right at the heart of the community.

"This is a point which the Chief Fire Officer and Cllr Byrom were both keen to point out. This is a community facility. Not only is it a working fire station, it is a community amenity.

"There's a community room at the station which local community groups can book to use as frequently as they want. Be that local clubs, organisations or even local churches can all use the station for free of charge. All you have to do is contact the station to book in."

Bill has also been working closely with Merseyside Fire Authority and Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephenson to lobby the Tory-Lib Dem Government against making any further cuts to the emergency service.

Bill said: "Our fire fighters don't just fight fires. They are a rescue service. It is the service that will be called out if there is danger to life or property.

"We rely on our Fire and Rescue Service, as well as all of our emergency services.

"Merseyside has already had twice the national level of cuts despite being the most efficient fire service in the country and yet the government seems intent on cutting still further. This is despite Merseyside Fire Service being the cheapest service per incident anywhere in the country.

"The Fire Service has warned the government that people will die if these cuts go ahead.

"The Tories and Lib Dems need to listen to the concerns of the fire service and they should reverse the cuts before it's too late."