Fire Works: A collaborative way forward for the fire and rescue service

On Thursday 16th July, the localism think tank New Local Government Network (NLGN) published Fire Works: A collaborative way forward for the fire and rescue service, an independent report supported by CFOA, which looks into future options for reform for the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS). The report draws on several months of research involving case studies, questionnaires, interviews and focus groups and covers three main areas, which it argues can be developed together:

  • Widening the prevention agenda into areas such as health and wellbeing
  • Collaborating with other blue light services, in particular colleagues in the ambulance service
  • Achieving greater efficiency by sharing resources and merging with other FRS where appropriate

It makes a number of recommendations, including:

  • Exploring the possibility of creating a national organisation for fire service back office functions
  • Rolling out co-responding schemes nationally
  • Enshrining a wider community safety and wellbeing role for the Fire and Rescue Service within the FRS Act

Report author Dr Claire Mansfield said: “Firefighters have been fantastically successful in moving from a responsive to an interventionist service. We believe that this should be recognised and better understood at a national level. Instead of the fire and rescue service being residualised, its remit must be expanded to offer different types of interventions – including in preventative health and social care. By working with local councils and health and wellbeing boards, local fire services can be really effective partners in improving the overall health of their neighbourhood.”

CFOA President, Peter Dartford, had this to say on the report: “I’d like to thank the NLGN for completing this independent piece of research, which will be useful in helping to shape the future of the Fire and Rescue Service. It provides an additional perspective on the wider role fire and rescue services could, and perhaps should, be undertaking to improve outcomes for the communities they serve.”

You can download a copy of the report, find out more about its creation, and get information on the NLGN from its website here.


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