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28.09.15

Fire services must not lose capacity to invest in prevention, LGA committee told

Unless fire and rescue services (FRS) can retain the capacity to invest in fire prevention work, which has resulted in a reduction of incidents, there will be an “inevitable rise in incidents” and “fire related deaths”. 

This is according to a report presented to the Local Government Association’s Fire Services Management Committee (FMSC), which noted that along with the rest of local government, FRS can expect to face further funding cuts over the period of the current spending review. 

However, unlike other providers of public services, FRS cannot meet their remit if funded solely on the basis of activity. 

The report stated that in lobbying for “fair and risk-based funding”, the significant and valued contribution of the FRS to the wider public health agenda while working to protect communities against the risk of fire should be emphasised. 

It was added that there will be a need to work with the government to seek further funding for service transformation, but in order to mitigate the impact of the funding challenge fire service transformation needs to continue apace. 

The FMSC was told it should focus on further blue light collaboration, including co-responding and the manpower implications of this.

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