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Consultation on the proposed removal of the Aerial Ladder Platform from Buxton Fire Station


As part of Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service Integrated Risk Management Plan 2017 – 21, a review was undertaken on special appliances in 2017/18. The review was to ensure that the number and location of specialist capability provision was right for the risks within Derbyshire in line with the plan. Although located at particular fire stations, they are first and foremost a county-wide resource.

Information on the progress and proposals of the review are available as part of the Fire Authority Report September 2017 & Fire Authority Report February 2018.

There has been a reduction in the number of incidents for both traditional fire engines and special appliances – for the purpose of the reports, a six year period of incident data was analysed and used within the reports (2011/12 – 2016/17).

What is the current situation?

One of the special appliances is the Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP) vehicle, of which there are 3 based at Derby, Chesterfield and Buxton Fire Stations. An ALP differs from a conventional fire engine and is designed for operations which involve medium and high-rise buildings.

Between 2011/12 – 2016/17, the ALP based at Buxton attended 71 incidents: however it wasn’t used at 29. Reasons for this include: being unable to position and stabilise the ALP due to unsuitable grounding; obstacles (such as other vehicles) or the incident no longer requiring it. 

The ALP at Buxton attended 8 incidents in 2017/18 but was only used at 3 incidents.

A request from the Home Office in September 2017 (post Grenfell Tower fire), asked each Fire & Rescue Service to identify all buildings of six-storeys and above. It is worth noting that in Derbyshire, there are only 28 buildings of six-storeys and above, in comparison with 500 (approx.) in Nottinghamshire, which has 2 ALPs and 260 in Leicestershire which has 2 ALPs.

Fire & Rescue Service

Six-storey buildings and above

Number of ALPs





500 (approx.)





What is the Service proposing to change?

The outcome of the review identified an over-provision of ALP vehicles within the county, based on the analysis of a range of information including the number of times it was used at an incident. The evidence suggests that the risk within the county does not exist for 3 ALP vehicles to be maintained. Therefore it is proposed that the ALP based at Buxton Fire Station be removed.

Buxton Fire Station will still retain 2 Fire Engines, a Water Rescue Unit, a Water Carrier and a Command Support Unit.

Why is the Service proposing to do this?

Over the period 2011/12 – 2016/17 there has been an overall decrease in the number of incidents where the ALP vehicles have attended. The evidence shows that the risk within the county does not exist for three ALP vehicles to be maintained.

In terms of the percentage of incidents attend by each ALP over this period, the Buxton ALP attended the least amount (Fig.1).

Fig 1

ALPs based at Derby and Chesterfield are the newer Vema model, whereas the current ALP at Buxton Fire Station is the older Bronto model which is now 17 years old and is due for replacement at a cost of £750,000.


Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service is proposing to remove the ALP from Buxton Fire Station, leaving two ALPs based at Chesterfield and Ascot Drive Fire Stations. This proposal has been made to match resources to actual risk and allow the continued provision of an efficient, sustainable emergency service.  

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service  welcome your views on the proposal and will use your feedback to assist us in making the decision which will be considered by the Fire & Rescue Authority in September 2018, the reports for which will be available on our website HERE.

Please click on this link to take you through to the form where you can leave your comments.

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