A draft strategy for the next three years has outlined how Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service (NFRS) will keep communities safe and tackle potential risks – and residents are being asked to share their views on it.
The new Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) covers the years from 2022 to 2025 and has taken a detailed look at what risks are present in Northamptonshire, and identifies how NFRS can provide an outstanding service, deploy our resources to reduce those risks and make the county a safer place for everyone.
Firefighters from across our 22 stations, plus teams from the Prevention and Protection departments, deal with a whole host of risks that have been identified in the Plan, made more challenging by Northamptonshire being one of the fastest growing counties in the country yet still being a significantly rural area. As well as fires at domestic and commercial properties, other risks to be identified include the county being at the heart of the country’s strategic road network, a sharp growth in the number of logistic hubs, while there remains a large presence of waterways and rivers.
Each fire service in the country has a statutory duty to produce a Community Risk Management Plan, and Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service has taken a detailed look at the challenges currently facing our community, what risks it can foresee in the future, and outlines how we can join up our prevention, protection and response operations to reduce those risks while keeping our staff safe.
The CRMP also outlines three major projects to undertake in order to transform and meet those future pressures. These include:
- The Green Agenda – ensuring that NFRS considers environmental risks such as flooding and wildfires, while also attempting to become greener itself through a more efficient estate and vehicles within its fleet
- Digital and technological – updating our systems to drive change in how we share our information and become a truly evidence driven organisation through data
- Emergency cover review – taking a detailed look at how we manage our resources to respond to calls and incidents
The CRMP will go out for a six-week consultation on Monday December 20, and members of the public in Northamptonshire are being asked to tell us what they think about the risks we have identified and whether they agree.
It comes just a few weeks after the overwhelming majority of respondents agreed to the recent priorities laid out in the first ever Police, Fire and Crime Plan for the next five years, put together by the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold.
As well as the consultation on the CRMP, residents are also being asked to share their views on the new finance settlement from the Government – which will affect how much the public are asked to pay in their council tax precepts.
Currently the Fire Service in Northamptonshire is the second lowest funded service in the country, but the new settlement gives the Commissioner the ability to ask for a council tax precept for NFRS of £5, which is more than suggested for most other fire services in the country.
Stephen Mold said: “Since Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service transferred to my governance from the County Council in 2019 we have faced some tough challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have taken some big strides forward.
“I have lobbied the Government hard for fairer funding to ensure we develop a more sustainable Fire Service for Northamptonshire residents, and the latest settlement will give us a firmer financial footing from which we can plan further improvements.
“The Community Risk Management Plan plays a major role in driving forward those improvements, but most importantly outlines our strategy on how we transform the Service and ensure that this county remains a safe place for everyone to work and live in.”
Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey added: “Over recent years we have been moving away from being a responsive service to having a greater focus on prevention and protection. The Community Risk Management Plan identifies how we can continue to evolve, recognise the risks and ensure we reduce those risks in the most efficient way possible using the resources we have.
“There are also some exciting new projects identified which can help to re-shape the organisation so that it continues to meet future demands and make Northamptonshire safer. We hope that as many residents as possible will have a look at the risks we’ve identified and let us know what they think.”
The Community Risk Management Plan consultation ends on January 31, 2022 and can be accessed at the following link:
Link to the proposed Plan: