Why are we consulting?
Press Release - Launch of public consultation on emergency fire and rescue service cover in North Wales
Currently we have guaranteed emergency cover at only eight of our fire stations located predominantly along the A55 dual carriageway corridor in our region.
Elsewhere in North Wales we rely on part time or on-call firefighters (who operate the retained duty system) – and their availability during the day time is challenging.
We are working hard to recruit and retain these firefighters but we need to ensure that we can be certain of being able to provide a response crew within the optimum response times across the whole of North Wales.
We have therefore been exploring scenarios for providing emergency cover in the future – with a view to improving existing cover whilst also recognising the current financial challenges. Working with independent specialists we have been modelling exactly how we could optimise our resources and respond in the most effective and efficient way.
We know that the number of incidents we attend increases throughout the day, peaking in early evening and then dropping at night. We could therefore look at matching this demand by changing the way some of our crews work in certain areas.
Average hourly incidents 01/04/2017 - 31/03/2022
Whilst we can work to improve how our average cover and performance could look, there will still be areas, especially in rural locations, where we would continue to work harder to improve our protection and prevention services and continue to focus on the recruitment of on-call staff and their availability.
This would enable us to respond more effectively to all the emergencies we are called upon to attend, including road traffic collisions and events as a result of extreme weather, and crucially at the right time.
Along with the new risks, the technology that firefighters use has become more sophisticated. Training is therefore critical, and because the number of fires has decreased significantly in recent years thanks to our prevention work, it makes the need for realistic and immersive training in all of the emergencies we are likely to attend even more crucial.
We also need to be mindful of our need to train firefighters to keep themselves and the public safe and provide the highest quality of response.
We are therefore developing a business case to build a state-of-the-art Training Centre. It would be more centrally located, so less time would be spent travelling and more time could be spent training. It could also prepare our firefighters for dealing with new and existing risks and we could share it with our emergency service partners and others we may attend emergencies alongside, for joint emergency service training and collaboration activities to ensure our people have the right skills.
You can access a PDF of the full consultation document in PDF here.