Help shape the future of fire service

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People are invited to help shape the future of the county’s fire service.

All fire and rescue services are required by the government to consult with residents on proposals for change in the coming years, known as an Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP).

Northamptonshire County Council’s fire and rescue service has drawn up draft improvement plans and wants to hear residents’ views.

The 2013-2017 proposals include developing a partnership between Northamptonshire and Warwickshire fire and rescue authorities to establish closer working and joint commissioning arrangements.

County council cabinet member for infrastructure and public protection, Cllr Andre Gonzalez de Savage, said: “The plan sets out what Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is working to achieve over the next few years.

“We have seen many successful outcomes over the past few years and I was very pleased to see some of the excellent work carried out by firefighters being recognised at the BBC 999 awards last month.

“We now want people to give us their views on the goals and priorities included in the plan, to make sure we are continuing to provide an effective and efficient service whilst also facing ongoing financial challenges, and help ensure our vision of a safer Northamptonshire continues to be realised.

“Only by knowing your views can we be sure that the services we provide are meeting the needs and expectations of the public.”

Since the introduction of the IRMP process in 2004, the service has achieved a number of improvements including a 20 per cent reduction in accidental house fires and a cut in the number of arson attacks, as well as reducing hoax calls by 73 per cent and false alarms from automatic fire alarm systems by 60 per cent.

The service has also helped successfully cut the number of people killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents and is providing life-saving intervention to medical emergencies across the county, through successful partnership working with the ambulance service.

The consultation period will run until January 4, 2013, and people are asked to visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/consultations to find out more.