Dorset Fire and Rescue Service could combine with Wiltshire to make savings

Bournemouth Echo: Dorset Fire and Rescue Service could combine with Wiltshire to make savings Dorset Fire and Rescue Service could combine with Wiltshire to make savings

DORSET Fire and Rescue could combine its service with Wiltshire and Swindon in order to make savings.

Members of both fire authorities have agreed to work towards developing a business case to combine the services in two years’ time.

With central government funding to be substantially reduced, a spokeswoman for Dorset Fire and Rescue said the shortfall cannot be sustained without a significant impact on frontline services.

A joint statement from Councillor Rebecca Knox, Chairman of Dorset Fire Authority, and Councillor Graham Payne, Chairman of Wiltshire and Swindon Fire Authority, said: “Both Services have and continue to make substantial savings, but the level of grant we receive from Government will continue to decline.

“In order to minimise any impact on the level of response we provide to our communities, Members of both Fire Authorities have agreed to explore closer working with a view to the combination in 2016.

“We estimate that this will provide significant savings, lessen the reductions to front line services thus assist us in maintaining emergency response standards and make us more resilient.

“We will also be consulting on the decision to move to a Joint Command and Control Centre in Potterne, Wiltshire in 2015. We appreciate that this will be an uncertain time for staff and we will be working closely with them and representative bodies over the coming months.”

Darran Gunter, Chief Fire Officer of Dorset, and Simon Routh-Jones, Chief Fire Officer of Wiltshire, said: “Our priority is to protect the services we provide to the public.

“As individual relatively small fire and rescue services we cannot sustain the continued reductions in Government grant and look to maintain as far as possible response standards without significant change to our organisations. In order to protect frontline services to the best of our ability, we have concluded that the best solution is for the two organisations to combine.

“Together, we can achieve so much more and combination will give us an opportunity to explore new ways of working.

“As well as achieving significant savings, this will give us greater resilience and allow us to continue providing an efficient and effective Fire & Rescue Service to our local communities.”

Comments (2)

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4:11pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Tictock says...

His this ignited common sense? Will this fan the flames of economic reality? Or will it be doused with protectionism? He how lives longest sees most!
His this ignited common sense? Will this fan the flames of economic reality? Or will it be doused with protectionism? He how lives longest sees most! Tictock

10:29pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Tango Charlie says...

It will be the same as when Dorset Ambulance Service merged with South West. Lest crews on the ground = savings.
It will be the same as when Dorset Ambulance Service merged with South West. Lest crews on the ground = savings. Tango Charlie

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