Fire and emergencies

Fire Futures

Taking forward the public service reform agenda in fire - next steps from Fire Futures to reset the relationship between fire and rescue authorities and central Government.

Background

Launched in July 2010 by the Fire and Rescue Minister Bob Neill MP, Fire Futures was a strategic review of fire and rescue provision designed for sector partners to shape the future direction of fire and rescue services in England. Over 100 sector representatives took part in preparing four Fire Future Reports covering:

  • the role of fire and rescue services (delivery models)
  • Efficiency, Effectiveness and Productivity
  • Localism and Accountability
  • National Interests.

With ideas to tackle short, medium and long term issues facing fire and rescue services, these reports were presented to the Fire and Rescue Minister by sector workstream Chairs in a round table meeting with the sector-dominated Steering Group in December 2010.

The Government published its response to the sector's Fire Futures Reports in April 2011, which committed to working with the sector to take forward the public service reform agenda in the fire and rescue context. Key to this will be resetting the relationship between the Service and central Government to place local accountability for local services at the heart of fire and rescue provision whilst securing the wider needs of national resilience.

What we are doing

Work is under way to reset the relationship, including:

  • Consultation on the draft Fire and Rescue National Framework until the 19th March 2012. The draft Framework proposes moving away from prescription, enabling fire and rescue authorities to deliver their services in a way that makes sense locally, whilst continuing to meet the wider needs of national resilience
  • Enhancing data transparency by making centrally-held Incident Recording System data available to Fire and rescue Services.
  • Reviewing fire funding mechanisms.
  • Working to investigate options for the Fire Service College.
  • Working with the sector to develop a new approach for fire and rescue control services.
  • The Government response listed the sector ideas emerging from their Fire Futures Reports for partners to draw on subject to local circumstances.

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