The three Fire and Rescue Services in Wales welcome Sir Ken Knight’s ‘Facing the Future’ ReportPosted
The three Fire and Rescue Services in Wales welcome Sir Ken Knight's review into the English Fire and Rescue Authorities which largely supports the approach taken by the three Welsh Services since their amalgamation from eight services to three in 1996. This approach also reinforces the Welsh Governments agenda on public sector reform withinWaleswhich has been operating for a number of years.
Aligning the delivery of our services to the public's needs and the risks that they face is fundamental to the way in which we work. To assist this, substantial work has been done, often on an allWalesbasis, to review the diverse range of services that we provide to the communities ofWalesand how we deliver these. As a consequence, numerous innovative and ground breaking methods of working and collaborations have been developed across the Welsh Services and the wider public sector.
Over the last few decades, the nature of the emergency incidents attended by the three Fire and Rescue Services has changed considerably. Whereas historically, the majority of calls attended were fire related, we have over the last decade or so seen a dramatic increase in the number of other emergency incidents we attend. These can range from road traffic collisions, flooding, bariatric rescue, chemical and environmental incidents, large animal rescue and assisting our other emergency service colleagues at emergencies including gaining entry to premises, working at height and national events, such as the Olympics. In addition, our preventative work to reduce the incidence of fire and road traffic collisions has increased significantly over this time and is delivering the reductions in fire calls highlighted in the report.
To be able to deliver this diverse range of services and ensure our crews are professionally trained and equipped to do so requires continuous review and evolution of services. To assist in this, the three Welsh Fire and Rescue Services work collaboratively as a matter of course and in addition have created the National issues Committee to further this work across the Services to an even greater extent. We also have strong links with our other emergency service and other colleagues and partners including the Joint Emergency Services Group, the police, ambulance, coastguard, RNLI, mines rescue, mountain rescue, military, local authorities, health trusts and education establishments to ensure close working practices and a common direction to providing services. These arrangements also enable extensive opportunities for sharing best practice and learning from others experiences as recommended by Sir Knight's report.