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Fire service plans to be considered

Norfolk County Council, 22 April 2022 00:00

Norfolk County Council's cabinet members are being asked to endorse plans to consult the public on the work of Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service, to ensure it continues to match its resources with the needs of the county's communities.

Work to create the latest three-year Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) could begin later this Spring and will see groups and individuals asked to look at options which will then go out to public consultation as part of a draft plan for comment in the autumn.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet Member for Communities and Partnerships, said: "We want to provide the best service we can for Norfolk. Our fire and rescue service needs to ensure that it is effective at reducing risk and protecting communities. The landscape has changed significantly over recent years in terms of new and changing risks, so it is right that we now consider the next plan."

The last plan was consulted on in autumn 2019 and runs until March 2023. CRMP's set out how risk is determined and defined and how resources will be allocated to meet or mitigate those risks.

Three main areas have been identified for further consideration within the CRMP process. Cabinet is being asked to support the NFRS in looking further into the following issues, encouraging the public and stakeholders to help shape the proposals before the engagement on the draft plans begins.

The key issues are:

1: The impact of highway infrastructure improvements in Norfolk

Improvements to the highway network improve journey times for all road users, including response times for emergency vehicles. NFRS will explore the impact of recent and planned significant highway improvements to identify potential opportunities. In particular, the Great Yarmouth Third River Crossing is expected to positively impact on possible response times for Great Yarmouth and Gorleston stations.

2: Maximising resources focussed on prevention activities

There is a sector wide drive to improve prevention activities across fire and rescue services. In Norfolk, Members have already provided additional budget to support NFRS to increase resource for prevention and we have secured additional resource in teams. There is also a Community Safety Development Plan in place to further enhance prevention resource and activities to increase our focus on prevention.

As part of the CRMP, NFRS will consider opportunities to support delivery of this plan and to enhance the service ever further. This includes opportunities to redirect more resources to prevention activities and enhancement of our intelligence and analysis capabilities so that we can better understand the impact of our work.

3: Efficiency and effectiveness

There is a continued need to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in all aspects of service management and delivery and these areas of performance are assessed regularly by the Inspectorate (HMICFRS).

This means ensuring that the resource available is deployed to best address identified risks as well as having efficient ways of working in place. The current IRMP set out the intent to carry out a concept of operations review, which has identified a number of areas relating to how we organise our response resource that will be carefully considered as part of the development of this CRMP to enable options to be proposed.

We will also want to consider whether our specialist response capabilities are in the most beneficial locations, as well as the way forward in terms of co-responding (including emergency medical response).

Chief Fire Officer Tim Edwards said: "We want our communities to help us shape the next CRMP, and so are seeking cabinet endorsement to go out to Norfolk's public and ask for their thoughts to explore some options. Once we have some draft proposals, shaped with support from the public, we will progress to a full public consultation in the Autumn."

Cabinet will consider the report when it meets at 10am on Tuesday, 3 May.

Watch the meeting, live or afterwards and read the report. (opens new window)

Details of how the public can get involved in the CRMP will be shared in the coming weeks.

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:43