From the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
Service Delivery Operating Model Proposal
Under the new proposals, the Service would seek to move underused resources from low risk areas and invest more into work to reach the most vulnerable members of society to help keep them safe.
The proposal includes the closure of a number of low risk/low activity fire stations, the removal of fire engines that are underused and making some other changes to the way in which some fire engines are crewed.
We would look to reinvest some of the financial savings into prevention work in the community. There are several reasons why change is needed. Lifestyles and geographical profiles of both Devon and Somerset have changed dramatically since many of our fire stations were built. Supported by the prevention work that has been carried out locally and nationally and by the Service, the number of fires attended by crews has fallen by a third in the last 10 years.
We are also the largest employer of on call firefighters in the country. The Service needs to improve the reliability of its ‘on-call’ model which last year saw 20% of its on-call fire engines not available due to lack of crew.
There are six proposed options for changing the way we operate our fire service that will be presented to the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority for consideration on 28 June. The Authority will decide on this date which of these options should form part of the public consultation.
We appreciate that any suggestion of closing stations or removing fire engines can be unsettling for residents and we want to ensure that you feel informed and supported as a community. We also want to ensure you have the opportunity to have your say through the consultation period that will run for 12 weeks starting from 1 July.
We will be holding public drop-in exhibitions in the localities that are affected by the proposals throughout July and August. This is so that we can engage with local residents to explain the changes and reasons for change as part of the consultation process.
It is important to stress that no decisions have been made about the final outcome, so providing your thoughts and opinions is key to helping Fire Authority members make an informed decision based on community and staff feedback
The documents referred now available on-line