Help shape the future in the fire and rescue service's biggest ever consultation

Residents are being urged to have their say in the future redesign of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS), through a 12 week consultation that started on Monday June 15 and ends on Sunday September 6.

The consultation process, the main element of the Fire Authority’s Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP), aims to address several key issues impacting on the fire service such as the declining number of call-outs and the need to increase the focus on preventing fires and emergencies from happening.

It will also look at major issues such as response times, and the ambitious target of having a working smoke alarm in every Essex home.

Acting Chief Fire Officer Adam Eckley said: “This is an opportunity for everyone to have a say in the future shape of ECFRS. We want all residents and businesses to have a look at the plan and let us know what you think.

“It is clear that the best way to keep people safe from fires and other emergencies is to stop them occurring in the first place. We’ve enjoyed great success in doing so, and we are proud of our record – the number of emergencies we attend has reduced by half in the past 10 years to around 13,500. All this against a backdrop of spending reductions and a growing, ageing, diversifying population.

“As a result of this success, we face a future which will be characterised by changes to the nature of the operational demands on our Service, alongside decreased funding. But we need to ensure that as a Service we remain sustainable into the future. We will become protection and prevention focussed, but we will always have a strong response element to fires and emergencies.”

The consultation exercise is in two parts, with the initial 12-week period asking eight key questions on the Service, along with opportunities for residents to have their say on any aspect of the plan. The results of the first consultation will inform the development of a set of options for change, which will then be consulted on in the second stage.

The IRMP document can be found here: http://www.essex-fire.gov.uk/_img/pics/pdf_1434377614.pdf

The online survey is available here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ECFRS-IRMP2015