Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service provides prevention, protection and response services across the County of Berkshire. Twelve wholetime and four on-call fire stations cover 488 square miles, from Langley in the East to Lambourn in the West. It serves a diverse cultural population of approximately 949,000, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The role of RBFRS within local communities is evolving. A wide range of services help keep communities safe, including safety and protection advice to residents and businesses, as well as enforcing fire safety legislation and reducing fire risk in the built environment. This is in addition to highly skilled crews providing a swift and effective response to incidents ranging from road, rail, aviation and waterway accidents, to fuel and chemical spills, collapsed buildings, large animal rescues and, of course, fires.
RBFRS is under the direction of a combined Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, which is made up of representatives from the county’s six unitary authorities. RBFRS also works alongside Thames Valley Police, South Central Ambulance Service, Public Health, and other public service providers in Berkshire. In doing so, it is helping to contribute to the overall safety of the communities it serves, whilst still providing a value-for-money service to the local taxpayer.
Berkshire and Reading Fire Brigade was formed in 1948 and was later renamed in 1974 to Royal Berkshire Fire Brigade. The organisation was established following centuries of evolution in firefighting strategy across the UK and renamed Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service in 1985. The fire service was then removed from local authority control in 1998 and was placed under the direction of an independent Royal Berkshire Fire Authority – which is made up of representatives from the county’s six unitary authorities.