Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service consultation roadshow

29 April 2014

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service consultation roadshows

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service will be holding roadshow events across the county as part of its consultation on the way the service is shaped in the future.

The Fire and Rescue Service is looking to change the way it operates to provide an improved response to life risk emergencies whilst making £1.3million savings over the next two years.

The public roadshow events are being run to give people the opportunity to find out more, share their views and ask questions face to face. In addition, residents can access information and complete the consultation survey online by visiting www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fireandrescue  by 20 June 2014.

Cllr Les Caborn, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, said: “We want to meet residents face to face in the community to talk about the proposed changes and to find out what local people think.

“Demand has changed and the types of incidents the service attends have changed so we need to position the service to give the best response within the resources we have available. Above all we want to make the people of Warwickshire safer by changing the way the service operates in the future.”

The public roadshows will be taking place at the following locations

•           10am – 2pm, Tuesday 6 May, Royal Priors Shopping Centre, Parade, Leamington Spa, CV32  4XT

•           10am – 2pm, Saturday 10 May, Central Midlands Co-op Car Park, 123 Long St, Atherstone, Warwickshire CV9 1AB

•           10am – 2pm, Wednesday 14 May, Ropewalk Shopping Centre, Chapel Street, Nuneaton, CV11 5TZ

•           10am – 2pm, Thursday 15 May, Clock Towers Shopping Centre, Rugby, CV21 2JR

•           10am – 2pm, Saturday 17 May, Bulls Head Yard Car Park, Alcester, B49 5BX.

The proposed changes will be the first round of savings to be made by the fire and rescue service which will eventually total £2.4m by 2018.

Cllr Caborn added: “We have been open about the savings that we need to make and are keen to make it clear to the public that we will not compromise the effectiveness of the service.

“We believe that by rethinking how we operate and introducing news ways of working that reflect peak demand, we will be better equipped to deal with life threatening emergencies while making the required savings.”

The roadshows complement the online consultation available which will be live until 20 June 2014. For more information go to www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fireandrescue

A paper version of the consultation survey will be available at each roadshow and distributed through county venues including fire stations and libraries giving more people a chance to have their say. Copies can also be requested by calling 01926 423 231.

Notes:

Data has shown that the main threats to life are road traffic collisions, rather than house fires.  It has also shown that the peak times for incidents are between 10am and 10pm.

Among the proposed changes to the service in the first wave of savings are:

  • Improved initial response to life risk emergencies across the county.  This is currently attend urban incidents within ten minutes, rural incidents within 20.  The ten minute response will become uniform across the county, with the target of 80% of life risk incidents up 6% on the current standard.
  • The deployment of wholetime firefighters at more response locations.  Two added response locations will be added around the Ryton-on-Dunsmore and Gaydon areas, ideal locations to provide swift response to high risk areas.
  • Appliances will be flexibly deployed across the county with crews working different duty systems with the aim of getting more Whole Time crews available during peak periods of demand.
  • The establishment of a retained duty systems crew at Rugby.

As well as the improvements, the consultation will also announce that the review of the operation of the service will mean that 30 whole-time firefighter posts and one strategic management post will be removed over the two years.  This is expected to come from natural turnover as firefighters retire and are not replaced.

There will also be changes to the way the service provides free smoke alarms.  The service will use its existing stock for the most vulnerable people only.  They will be fitted by non-frontline staff, keeping firefighter resources available to increase response resiliency.

Another change will see support stopped for the Young Firefighters’ Association in November.  Youth engagement will continue and be prioritised in targeted areas.  

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