EMERGENCY calls to broken lifts cost taxpayers £1,500 in three days – but Cheshire Fire Service has decided not to charge for the callouts.
The brigade has the power to make companies and individuals pay for lift rescue callouts to their property, but has decided not to enforce the rule despite being called to the same premises on more than one occasion.
Over one three day period last month, crews were called out to five separate lift malfunctions, two of which were in the same place. But taxpayers continue to foot the bill for faults no matter what state of repair lifts are in.
A fire service spokeswoman said: “I can confirm we are not charging for lift rescues.
“If we are repeatedly called out to a particular lift then we may consider charging the cost of a standard service call, which is in the region of £290.”
However, some Cheshire firefighters say there are some occasions when the service has been charging for lift rescues.
One said: “We’ve had a lot of lift rescues recently – it’s ridiculous. It’s just a lack of maintenance.
“It’s been Cheshire’s policy not to charge but now we’ve decided to start because of the amount of calls.”
Another said charges were being made if there was a call to the same premises more than twice in a month or more than four times a year.