Residents have their say on future fire service plans

Berwick fire engine.
Berwick fire engine.
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Have your say

Residents are being given the chance to have their say on the future plans for Northumberland’s Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS).

The service has produced a draft version of its four year plan, setting out its priorities up to 2021.

Among the priorities are enhanced collaboration and partnership working, expanding and enhancing its community 'Safe and Well' visits, revising its school's education programmes and providing increased resilience with neighbouring services.

NFRS Chief Fire Officer Paul Hedley said: “We have a fire and rescue service to be proud of and are committed to making the county an even safer place to live, work and visit.

“This four year plan outlines the main risks to the communities of Northumberland and how we will use our resources efficiently to reduce those risks.

“We must ensure we continue to provide high quality prevention and protection activity to those most at risk while providing a well-equipped and highly trained workforce to respond to incidents.”

Northumberland continues to be extremely safe and the plan highlights that over the past ten years the number of fire and rescue incidents has dropped by 31%.

And over the past five years the number of accidental house fires has dropped by almost half.

However the service continues to be very busy and in 2016/17 received around 6,200 calls and attended 3115 incidents.

Councillor John Riddle, the County Council’s Fire Authority chair, said: “We want to ensure decisions about our services take into account the views of residents, employees and communities of Northumberland.

“We know we must aim to maintain our focus on regularly reviewing risk to ensure we are using our personnel and resources where they can have maximum impact and do all we can to prevent fires and other emergencies from occurring in the first place.

“By taking part in our survey people can help us understand what they think of our future plans and ensure our services are targeted in the most effective way.”

The draft plan and survey can be viewed by going to http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/NFRplan

The eight-week consultation opens on July 10th and closes on September 1st 2017 and a final version of the plan will be approved by Northumberland County Council later in the year.