Fire Service invites feedback over service provision

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) will launch a consultation on its Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) on Monday, July 6. 

This plan sets out changes the Service will make over the next four years under its key responsibilities including responding to emergencies, protection work with businesses and prevention activities to make communities safer.

SFRS already provides the highest level of operational availability on mainland England but it is now seeking views of the public and partners to be sure the plan meets all needs and expectations.

The IRMP contains information about communities, the risks they face and how the Service intends to manage those risks. Feedback will then allow decisions to be made on how resources are used.

The proposals include making response timings easier to understand, explaining how technology will be used to prevent fires in rural communities, looking at how extra specialist staff will work with businesses and how the service will meet growing demand through the flexible use of resources.

Finally, the Service’s vision will be refreshed to reflect the Service’s culture of innovation, inclusion, diversity and valuing its people.

Chief Fire Officer, Rod Hammerton said: “This plan sets the direction for Shropshire’s fire and rescue service for years to come and we want to be sure it meets the needs of the people we serve.

“We rely heavily on feedback from all aspects of our communities, to be sure the services we develop meet their needs.”

For example, the Service has identified a predicted rise of more than 50 per cent in the over 65s age group who will be living alone in the next 15 years.

Many of those will be men, aged over 85 with this age group set to rise by 156 per cent in the next ten years. 

These groups are at a much higher risk of fire than others - fatality rates for over 65’s is more than five times higher than in all other age groups and single men are particularly at risk. As a result, one of the Service’s aims is to work with partners, families, and individuals to identify ways of preventing fires for these groups.  

Mr Hammerton added: “Shropshire has a mixed challenge of both rural and urban areas. As a Service we have a good understanding of the risks and how to manage them, but we need to be sure.

“That’s why the consultation is so important. We need to hear the views of the people who call 999, the people we are trying to make safer, to be sure they are getting the service they need whether it be emergency response, prevention of fires in homes or protecting our vital workplaces and industries.”  

Chair of Shropshire Fire Authority, Councillor Eric Carter said: “This IRMP is effectively our contract with the community. When the consultation is complete, we will have the fullest possible picture of risk across the county, a set of activities to manage those risks and a clear understanding of whether our plan meets the expectations of the people of Shropshire.  

“We really want the views of our communities to help shape the IRMP and would encourage everyone to read the details and complete the survey to help us identify any other key risks and make sure our resources are focussed in the right areas.”

The consultation was launched today (Monday, July 6) and runs for 12 weeks until Wednesday, 30 September at 5pm.

Please click here for the IRMP consultation information

3rd July, 2020