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report calls for reform of English fire service

21 May 2013

A major overhaul of the English fire service has been called for, in a government commissioned report by former chief fire and rescue adviser, Sir Ken Knight. The report comments that the number of call-outs has decreased significantly in recent years but that there has not been a correlating reduction in staff numbers.

Sir Ken has expressed the opinion that millions of pounds of efficiency savings could be made, for instance, by taking steps to increase collaboration amongst authorities and with other emergency services. However, he also commented that the scale of change is “unlikely to be achieved through individual local action alone” and floated the idea of larger scale options including a single fire service for England “in the style of Scotland”.

It will be interesting to see this debate develop in the coming months, including the Government’s approach to localism as it applies to the fire service.

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