The Home Office decision to award £620,000 to help pay for plans to fully integrate Northamptonshire Police and the county’s fire and rescue service is a sure sign that central Government is very interested in plans being developed here in Northamptonshire, and that those plans could help shape the future of 999 services in this country.
The money is going towards a project being led by Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds and the county council.
That project is likely to see emergency services sharing properties, services, training and fleet maintenance.
And those behind the scheme are not shy about what it means.
The work is designed to create “the first fully integrated emergency service in the country”.
The irony is, at present the blue light service that could arguably do with most support is not currently included.
East Midlands Ambulance Service is an unwieldy and regularly under-performing service that has needed improvements for some time.
Why not include ambulance services in this county as part of the project?
The various arms of the emergency services already work incredibly closely on the ground, so why not in the offices and restrooms of the county?
It is not beyond the realms of possibility to see the next election of a commissioner in the county being about choosing someone to run not only our police force, but our fire service as well.
Neil Pickford, Editor