Help Shape the Future of Your Fire and Rescue Service

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is asking people to help shape the future of their local fire and rescue service by sharing their views as part of a consultation process. 

The 12-week consultation, which starts today (4 January), focuses on plans to review the way that RBFRS delivers its services to enable people to live safe and fulfilling lives, while at the same time balancing the budget in increasingly difficult financial circumstances. 

All fire and rescue authorities have a legal duty to produce an Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP), covering at least a three year period, that identifies and assesses all foreseeable fire and rescue related risks that could affect the communities we serve. With limited numbers of people and equipment, RBFRS has to make decisions on how best to deploy our prevention and operational response resources to reduce and mitigate the risks facing our communities. The IRMP process ensures the right resources are in the right place, at the right time. 

RBFRS uses a large amount of data, including information from all of the incidents it attends, to provide a detailed ‘risk map’ of the County. In Berkshire, the highest risk incidents, those where people are more likely to be injured or killed, are dwelling fires and road traffic collisions (RTCs). 

The new IRMP is a strategic five-year plan that focuses on delivering the outcomes of four priority projects 

1) Response (response standards, fire station locations and crewing arrangements) 

Including reviewing current attendance times, reviewing optimum fire station locations and their suitability, reviewing all current shift patterns and crewing arrangements, and exploring the possibility of sharing locations with other organisations. 

2) Response (use of technology) 

Including reviewing RBFRS’ current specialist appliances, exploring the possibilities of sharing resources with other fire and rescue services, and investigating emerging technology and its impact on operational systems of work. 

3) Prevention

Including reviewing current Prevention initiatives, delivering a broad range of new initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of communities, and carrying out risk mapping to deal with risks associated with key target groups and areas.

4) Protection

 Including reviewing RBFRS’ risk-based commercial premises audit programme and utilising collected data to enable continual review of ‘risk’ premises, enabling the delivery of a more targeted programme.

Area Manager Simon Jefferies, who manages RBFRS’ IRMP process, said: “Since Royal Berkshire Fire Authority reviewed and reset their policy direction in 2014, which resulted in six new strategic commitments, RBFRS has been planning how these commitments would be delivered using its available resources and against the backdrop of Government spending cuts.

“These four key projects are the result of that planning activity and we hope that as many people as possible will let us have their views on them. This is just the first step, as we will be developing annual Action Plans, which will contain detailed information about what will be achieved in each of the four years between now and 2019, and an Annual Report will detail the progress made in that year.

“However, we are very keen to hear what you think about these key projects, for example, your views on how we manage risk, or if there are any other areas you think we should include in our projects. All the feedback we receive as part of the consultation process will be considered, so this really is your opportunity to help shape the future of your fire and rescue service.”

The consultation process runs from Monday 4 January – Monday 4 April 2016 and you can take part in any of the following ways:

  • Via our website www.rbfrs.co.uk
  • Emailing irmp@rbfrs.co.uk
  • Telephoning 0118 938 4331 (automated line)
  • Writing to us at Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Newsham Court, Pincents Kiln, Calcot, Reading RG31 7SD 

The IRMP document is available on RBFRS’ website at www.rbfrs.co.uk. If you would like a hard copy, or if you require assistance with accessing the information in an alternative format, then please contact us using the above information.