Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, (HFRS), is facing extensive budget cuts next year and needs to save £16m over the next 4 years. There is a public consultation under way by HFRS which you we can contribute to and influence the outcome. Below are some excerpts from the consultation documents and some links so you can give a view:
The result of this review offers a tremendous opportunity for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service to redefine how incidents are responded to; delivering significant savings whilst maintaining a highly efficient, more streamlined response.
Reducing the current immediate response firefighters (option 1; 576 to 502, option 2; 576 to 488) and on-call firefighters (option 1; 656 to 503, option 2; 656 to 487) will have a significant impact;
• The county-wide average response time for critical incidents will reduce to under seven minutes
• The wider range of emergency vehicles will be more reflective of local risks, and allow station crews to mobilise more rapidly
• The availability of on-call emergency vehicles would increase from 90% to 96%
• Savings in personnel will achieve the necessary financial savings without any frontline compulsory redundancies or fire station closures
“Be assured there are no plans to reduce the number of fire stations or impose frontline compulsory redundancies. It’s about making even better use of our personnel and resources, streamlining our processes for even greater efficiencies. We refuse to compromise the safety of Hampshire residents or our firefighters and our response to emergency incidents. It’s about making Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service more relevant, more efficient and above all, making our county safer.” Chief Officer – Dave Curry.
Reviewing our emergency response vehicles
Our standard fire engines (with crews of four to six firefighters) are not always the most appropriate response for the wide range of incidents that the fire service is called out to. By running a more diverse fleet of vehicles we could create a more effective and efficient response to the various types of incidents.
Implementing a more activity based crewing model
Data shows that most incidents happen during the day and early evening. Therefore, we propose to introduce four crewing models to effectively match the risk of our stations. This will ensure that have the right resources at the right times, appropriate to their local risk.
Creating a more flexible crewing system
This will help support the number of firefighters that we have on duty at specific times of the day or night, ensuring that we have more staff on duty when we need them, and less during the periods of lower activity. This will ensure effective emergency cover, whilst ultimately reducing employee costs.
Here are some of the budget cuts for local fire stations: Havant, £317,134 – £518,208; Horndean, £14,000; Liphook, £28,000; Petersfield, £42,000; Waterlooville, £42,000.
Any cut in funding to the fire brigade worries me (although the Chief Fire Officer’s report seems to give a very positive outlook on response times and effectiveness) so please give your views. You can access the consultation online at HFAF Consultation
Please click here to download the consultation document: HFAR Planning for a Safer Hampshire consultation document (1)