Sale's fire station is set to be unmanned for more than 12 hours a day under proposals up for a consultation by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).

The fire station at the corner of Cranleigh Drive and Oaklands Drive is manned 24 hours a day at the moment like the service's other sites in Altrincham and Stretford.

GMFRS, however, wants to switch Sale's fire station to a "day crew" system in which it would be staffed during the day between 8.30am and 6pm, but it would be unstaffed during the night between 6pm and 8.30am. Overnight, firefighters within four minutes of the fire station would be on call for any incident.

A "day crew" system is in operation at six sites (Horwich, Irlam, Littleborough, Marple, Mossley, Ramsbottom) with the service saying the addition of this station and a station in Offerton, Stockport, would lead to a saving of £1 million for investment into two new engines at Manchester Central and Moss Side.

There is also investment into special appliances such as extendable turrets and turntable ladders.

But Shaun Ennis, a Liberal Democrat councillor for Timperley Central, said the system is "unthinkable".

Cllr Ennis said: "These proposals are absolutely unthinkable. They'll make parts of Trafford, including Timperley, less safe. 

"I want to see them rejected and for the fire station to retain its 24-hour status."

In January, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority increased the portion of council tax which pays for GMFRS, the General Precept, by around 4.8 per cent.

Then, mayor Andy Burnham said the increase was "to avoid cuts to the frontline".

Cllr Ennis said: "In January, Mr Burnham told us that he did not want to hike taxes during the cost-of-living crisis, but that he had to in order to avoid cuts to frontline services. 

"In June we are presented with those cuts to frontline services all the same. I sincerely hope the residents of Sale and Timperley use the consultation to make their voices heard."

Messenger Newspapers: Dave Russel

Dave Russel, chief fire officer for GMFRS, said: "Our Fire Cover and Special Appliance Reviews set out the changes we are proposing to ensure our resources are used in the most effective and efficient way. 

"Based on data and insight, we believe the package of measures proposed are the best way for us to build a stronger, more resilient fire and rescue service while maintaining the highest levels of safety and lowest levels of risk as we protect our communities, work together and save lives."

An online consultation runs from now until July 10.

To contribute to the online consultation go to

There is an in-person consultation at Offerton fire station (June 12) and at Sale fire station (June 14), both at 6pm.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.