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Consultation on Proposed Changes to Fire Services

North Yorkshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe today launched a three-month consultation to hear the public’s views on proposed changes to fire and rescue services before making final decisions .

Commissioner Zoë is considering proposals for the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s new 2022-2025 Risk and Resource Model, which sets out how the service would seek to deploy its staff, equipment and resources. These proposals are based on an extensive risk assessment in North Yorkshire and York, which identified the likelihood and severity of fires, traffic collisions, water-related incidents and other emergencies.

The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has a balanced budget, so the proposed changes are not a way to cut costs, but rather an opportunity to invest in vital areas identified by the public as priorities – such as improving the availability of firefighters on call. drivers in our rural areas and increasing prevention and protection work across the county and city.

With fire-related incidents representing a smaller proportion of what the Service responds to overall, proposals include significantly increasing and improving prevention and protection work related to fire, road and water safety to prevent damage to occur in the first place, managing the response to low-risk automatic fire alarms, introducing a new specialized water rescue capability to Craven, and introducing emergency response principles that clarify what the public can expect when making an emergency call.

There are also three proposed changes relating specifically to Harrogate, Scarborough and York Region.

In the Harrogate and Scarborough areas, demand for services is higher during the day than at night, and the proposed change in fire engine would provide increased capacity to respond during the day, while building resilience more broadly.

At York, there are currently more emergency response resources than the risk or demand requires. The Huntington fire station is the least used in the area and therefore the proposal is to change the crew of this station from full time to on call. This proposal would provide appropriate and safe coverage for the community, while maintaining the ability to carry out important prevention and protection work.

To gather public views, Commissioner Zoë and her team are holding 12 events across North Yorkshire and around the city to discuss the proposals, including in Huntington, Harrogate and Scarborough where specific changes are being proposed. An online questionnaire will also be available to complete throughout the consultation period.

Commissioner Zoé said:
“It is my job to set the direction of the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and therefore to consider these proposals and make a decision. Before that, I want to know what the public thinks and so I encourage people to come to one of my consulting events this summer to speak with myself or a member of my team and fill out the online questionnaire. .

“The role of a fire and rescue service has changed and continues to change, with only 26% of our incidents last year related to a fire emergency. We want to ensure that we meet our current and future challenges and that we have the ability to prevent and protect to prevent incidents from happening in the first place and prevent damage before it does, while having the ability to respond to emergencies when they do occur. we are convinced that these proposals will achieve this.

“Inevitably there are some areas where the service setup would change, but I’m confident that the right people, the right equipment and the right support would continue to be available to everyone.”

Fire and rescue personnel from North Yorkshire and York have been engaged by the Service on these proposals for the past two weeks and have been reassured that, although some roles may be redeployed, everyone will remain employed and continue to fulfill what is necessary to keep their community. safe and feel safe.

Fire Chief Jon Foster said:
“The risk and resource model would support the transformation of our fire and rescue service and allow for a greater focus on prevention, as outlined in our community risk assessment. It would also facilitate increased investment in our on-call service.

Implementing these proposals would mean Commissioner Zoë could address another of the public’s top priorities emerging from her consultation on the fire and rescue plan – improving the availability of fire trucks on call. The proposals outlined would invest over £1.5m a year from 2025 to improve the availability of care stations in North Yorkshire and York.

Further information on the proposals, details of local consultation events and a link to complete the questionnaire can be found on the Commissioner’s website:

Commissioner Zoë also explains the proposals in this video: