The fire service is calling on people in South Yorkshire to have their say on how it plans to deliver its work to local people between now and 2020.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue does not propose making any further reductions in fire station or fire engine numbers in plans presented to the service’s governing Fire Authority on Monday (13 February), despite having lost more than £14 million from its annual budget since 2010.
But its proposals do include making more of its firefighters available in the day when crews are busiest, changing its prevention work to focus on those most at risk and proactively exploring collaboration opportunities with other emergency services.
Key changes outlined in the service’s Integrated Risk Management Plan 2017-20 include:
- Changing the staffing of the second fire engine at Sheffield’s Central fire station so that it is available all of the time in the day, but ‘on call’ at night
- Adding two additional fire engines at two fire stations in South Yorkshire, which would also be available all of the time in the day, but ‘on call’ at night
- Continuing to offer fire prevention guidance to all, but prioritising its free Home Safety Checks service for those who the service believes are at the greatest risk of fire
- Finding further ways of working more closely with the police and ambulance services, as a new law now makes it a requirement for all emergency services to do
The plans also consider how the fire service intends to respond to Government’s efforts to reform the fire service nationally, including requirements to provide a more flexible and diverse workforce.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Martin Blunden, said: “Our vision for the lifetime of this plan is to provide the best possible service to the people of South Yorkshire within the resources which are available to us.
“We are not proposing any further significant changes to our core 999 service, beyond those outlined in previous plans. But the proposals we have outlined in this plan do explain how we intend to develop our service to become more efficient in what we do and make the biggest possible difference to those most at risk of fire.
“These are draft proposals and we really want to gather views from the public on the plans we have put forward.”
Members of the public can share their views on the plans between now and 27 March. Once the consultation period has ended and feedback has been considered, Fire Authority members will make the final decision on the proposals.
People can share their views via an online survey, in writing or at a series of community roadshow events.