The county’s firefighters are being equipped for a more modern role which sees them attend more road traffic collisions.
Northamptonshire’s chief fire officer, Martyn Emberson, said his crews are attending “more and more” accidents following a 33.7 per cent decrease in the number of deliberate building fires since 2006.
Five initial intervention vehicles are currently being used by officers to get to accidents more quickly.
Mr Emberson said: “We have got five initial intervention vehicles and we plan to introduce a further two. They work between retained stations and they help to support those rural communities so that there’s a presence there during the day.
“It also means we can attend road traffic collisions straight away because the retained crews have to go to the station so there’s a five-minute delay. This enables there to be someone on the scene straight away.
“It’s an innovative way of using our personnel to protect the community, it also assists the retained services in helping them to meet the needs of their community. I think it’s a major step forward.
“We are doing more and more road traffic accident work because we have been very successful in driving down fire incidents in the community. Working with our partners, during the past six years we have halved the number of incidents we go to.”
Latest figures revealed fire-fighters attended 420 road accidents from April 2011 to April 2012.
During that time, 23 people were killed in collisions, and 290 people were seriously injured. A further 1,363 people suffered slight injuries as a result of those collisions.
News of a closer working relationship between the emergency services hit the headlines recently when crime commissioner Adam Simmonds touted a possible merger. The fire service’s annual integrated risk management plan highlights a need for a more joined-up approach.