Changes to be made within fire service as call outs reduce

Changes to be made within fire service as call outs reduce

Changes to be made within fire service as call outs reduce

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

THE Bucks fire service could change the way it operates, following continuing financial pressures and a decrease in the number of call outs.

The Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire and Rescue Service is currently consulting the public on its proposed five year plan.

In the consultation booklet chief fire officer, Mark Jones, said "The fire and rescue 'landscape' has changed dramatically over the last ten years or so.

"We have seen a dramatic reduction in the number of emergency incidents and consequent deaths and injuries across the UK, including here in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes."

Over the last decade there has been a 54 per cent reduction in fires in the county and a 68 per cent reduction in no-fatal fire casualties.

Analysis revealed full-time fire engines attend on average 3.4 incidents and on-call fire appliances 1.2 incidents in a 24 hour period.

A review by Sir Ken Knight- a former chief fire and rescue adviser to the Government, has suggested improvements to efficiency.

One of these include increasing reliance on 'on call' (part-time) firefighters in the areas where risk and demand are low.

And another includes improving collaboration and sharing of knowledge and learning between fire and rescue services to reduce duplication of effort.

At the monthly Princes Risborough Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Bill Bendyshe-Brown brought the issue to the table.

He said the fire authority is also facing financial pressures and advised all councillors to look at the plan.

He said: "One of the things we are finding now, because of the reduction in the number of fires and call outs, we do have over capacity within the fire service. We have got to look at that and make note of that in terms of cost reduction."

The Thames Valley Control Service is already merged between Oxon, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and Cllr Gary Hall suggested the fire authorities could work in a similar way.

He said: "It is a very serious matter. We should all be taking an interest.

"I certainly had a few staff contact me and said morale within the service it at its lowest ever."

Cllr John Coombs said Wiltshire and Dorset fire authorities are consulting at the moment on a merger, which he said will reduce the number of high earning people yet still leave the front line crews.

A small working group was put together to write a draft response.

The consultation lasts until October 13. Go to www.bucksfire.gov.uk. The plan will be presented for approval in December.

Comments (3)

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11:04am Sat 2 Aug 14

Truth seeker999 says...

Fires have reduced-true.
Turn outs to other type incidents have not.
Floodings. When the country was in uproar over the winter floodings, FACT appliances from Bucks had been attending (around the clock) flooded areas in the county since Christmas Day.
Road Traffic accidents are on the increase due to the volume of traffic on the busy roads in this county.
In this county fire, road and accidental deaths are on par with previous years. Mr jones likes to mention the Knight report but that was completed for a complete service not just a shire brigade.
The reason fire death does not increase is because of the pro active roll the crews take in giving advice and installing safety and warning equipment. It has also been legislation that since 1992 all new builds require a detector system fitted. Legislation pushed through by the Fire Service.
Mr Jones has a work force that is very professional during very testing times. Pensions being attack, cost of living on the increase, no wage rise, consistent threats about cuts and crewing and morale being at an all time low.
The public do not witness this as the crews remain professional towards the public who pay their wages. It's a shame the same cannot be said for Mr Jones and the way he treats his staff.
Granted, fires in the home and fire fatalities on a whole over the country are on the decrease but 1 life lost is still 1 to many.
Fires have reduced-true. Turn outs to other type incidents have not. Floodings. When the country was in uproar over the winter floodings, FACT appliances from Bucks had been attending (around the clock) flooded areas in the county since Christmas Day. Road Traffic accidents are on the increase due to the volume of traffic on the busy roads in this county. In this county fire, road and accidental deaths are on par with previous years. Mr jones likes to mention the Knight report but that was completed for a complete service not just a shire brigade. The reason fire death does not increase is because of the pro active roll the crews take in giving advice and installing safety and warning equipment. It has also been legislation that since 1992 all new builds require a detector system fitted. Legislation pushed through by the Fire Service. Mr Jones has a work force that is very professional during very testing times. Pensions being attack, cost of living on the increase, no wage rise, consistent threats about cuts and crewing and morale being at an all time low. The public do not witness this as the crews remain professional towards the public who pay their wages. It's a shame the same cannot be said for Mr Jones and the way he treats his staff. Granted, fires in the home and fire fatalities on a whole over the country are on the decrease but 1 life lost is still 1 to many. Truth seeker999
  • Score: 17

2:34pm Sat 2 Aug 14

Truth seeker999 says...

Mr Bill Bendyshe-Brown and Cllr Gary Brown should find out the true facts first. The merge of control rooms has not been completed and is still ongoing. This project keeps getting put back at extra time and cost. This merger came after the collapse of the first merger project with another service. As you can imagine the collapse of the first and the extended time to complete this one has cost the Service Thousands of pounds.
I totally agree and it has been tabled for years a Thames Valley Fire Service. This would mean 1 senior management group, 1 group of back room staff and 1 support group. This would reduce the costs in the most costly and highly paid areas leaving front line staff to protect the public.
And this would also mean only 1 fire authority, so lots of Members would also lose their positions. Suppose Mr Bendyshe-Brown and Cllr Brown might want to reconsider.
Mr Bill Bendyshe-Brown and Cllr Gary Brown should find out the true facts first. The merge of control rooms has not been completed and is still ongoing. This project keeps getting put back at extra time and cost. This merger came after the collapse of the first merger project with another service. As you can imagine the collapse of the first and the extended time to complete this one has cost the Service Thousands of pounds. I totally agree and it has been tabled for years a Thames Valley Fire Service. This would mean 1 senior management group, 1 group of back room staff and 1 support group. This would reduce the costs in the most costly and highly paid areas leaving front line staff to protect the public. And this would also mean only 1 fire authority, so lots of Members would also lose their positions. Suppose Mr Bendyshe-Brown and Cllr Brown might want to reconsider. Truth seeker999
  • Score: 0

2:36pm Sat 2 Aug 14

Truth seeker999 says...

Sorry Cllr Hall
Sorry Cllr Hall Truth seeker999
  • Score: -1

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