Fire service welcomes �7.2million grant

Funding set to help a new four-way partnership between fire services.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has welcomed a �7.2 million grant from the Government.

It has joined forces with Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Services to form the Networked Fire Control Services Partnership, which aims to develop the future provision of fire control services.

Chief fire officer of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service Lee Howell said: “We welcome the funding announced today by DCLG and this will allow us to invest in technology for our control room, here in Exeter.

“We will be working with colleagues in our network partnership to maximise the opportunities that new technology presents and ensure we have good fall back arrangements.”

The grant will enable the partnership to take advantage of the latest technology to track the location and movement of individual fire engines and share important operational information with fire and rescue crews.

Under the proposals, each fire and rescue service will retain its own fire control, providing significant operational benefits in incident management and ensure the professional expertise of control staff continues to support service delivery and enhance firefighter safety.

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The partnership will also provide a networked mobilising system which will improve operational resilience.

Each fire and rescue service will be able to deal with the full range of call handling and mobilising functions of one or more of the other services at busy times caused by severe weather such as flooding or during a large-scale incident.