- Friday, 18 November 2016 15:00
Local people are being invited to have their say on the future priorities of Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS).
A six-week consultation into the Service’s IRMP has been launched today and will run until Saturday 31 December.
All fire and rescue services are required to produce an IRMP that assesses local and national risks and outlines how they will be addressed. The report includes 22 separate actions which Avon Fire & Rescue Service will prioritise over the next two years.
Up to 2020 AF&RS needs to make £5 million of annual savings, following reductions in the grant received from central Government. Government is also pressing Fire Authorities to reform their Services. In response, Avon Fire Authority’s IRMP recommendations are based on four guiding principles of ‘Mitigation of risk in communities’, ‘Reconfiguration of services’, ‘Collaboration’ and ‘Accountability and transparency’. In addition the Service is looking at ways of becoming more inclusive of its diverse communities and partners.
Chairman of Avon Fire Authority, Councillor Peter Abraham said: “Our staff have been extremely successful over the years in driving down the number of house fires and wider risks faced by members of the public in our communities.
“Despite increasing populations in many of the cities, towns and villages in our area we haven’t seen an increase in the number of emergencies we attend. There are many reasons for this, but the fantastic education and safety work our staff have been doing over the years certainly plays a large part.
“We’re confident that through increased collaboration and by reconfiguring the way we deliver our services that excellent work can continue despite the significant savings we must find.
“This Authority knows that public regard our emergency response service as the absolute priority so we have committed to maintaining our current standards across the area.”
Among the proposed actions are plans to:
- Prioritise frontline response services by reconfiguring the service delivery model, instead of reducing capacity.
- Introduce ‘alternate’ crewing of specialist vehicles, instead of them being ‘primary’ crewed.
- Revert Yate Fire Station, which is currently wholetime, back to its pre-2009 crewing model when it was staffed by wholetime crews in the day and ‘on-call’ firefighters at night.
- Bring the Service’s Urban Search and Rescue Team into the wholetime establishment.
- Collaborate with blue light partners where there is mutual benefit.
- Explore the potential for extended provision of support to the ambulance service for life-threatening emergency calls.
Councillor Abraham added: “I would encourage everyone who lives or works in the Avon Fire & Rescue Service area to look through our IRMP and provide their feedback via our survey.”
Detailed plans regarding the proposed changes at Yate Fire Station will be on display in the town’s library for one week from Monday 28 November.
An open event will also take place at Yate Fire Station on Thursday 8 December 2016 from 10am to 7pm. Members of the public can attend the open ‘drop in’ event to find out more about the public consultation, discuss the proposals and ask any questions.
The IRMP is available for download from the Avon Fire & Rescue Service website or by going to http://www.avonfire.gov.uk/documents/category/63-integrated-risk-management-plan?download=1094:integrated-risk-management-plan-2016-2020-pdf-1786kb
The survey can be completed online at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LKYYDRP
Printed copies of the survey can be requested in writing to Avon Fire & Rescue Service, Temple Back, Bristol, BS1 6EU.