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Managing the risks of tomorrow - shaping the future of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service

Monday, 2nd November 2015.

The launch of a public consultation looking at the future provision for Suffolk’s fire and service will be discussed by the County Council’s Cabinet when it meets on Tuesday 10 November. If given the go-ahead, a 14 week consultation will take place with the public, staff and interested parties between Monday 16 November 2015 and Monday 22 February 2016.

The consultation seeks views on a range of specific proposals for changing the way the fire and rescue service is set-up across the county. The changes have been proposed to meet the on-going reductions in funding for the fire service and also to reflect the more than 30 per cent reduction in 999 call demand over the last 10 years.

The draft Integrated Risk Management Plan being considered through consultation identifies the following proposals:

·Reduce the number of fire engines in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft

·Replace the second fire engine at Sudbury with a rapid response fire engine

·Close Wrentham fire station

These are challenging proposals but they will ensure that the service is fit to continue to provide a balance of Prevention, Protection and Emergency Response services to communities across Suffolk:

·Prevention – working with young, elderly and vulnerable people to promote community safety and fire prevention

·Protection – working with business to support them meeting their legal fire safety protection requirements

·Emergency Response – providing 24/7 999 emergency response services across the county and in support of significant emergencies across the country

Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Cllr Matthew Hicks said: “In Suffolk, we are lucky to have such a highly skilled and dynamic fire service that has embedded a programme of proactive protection and prevention work in the last 10 years to assist in reducing the demand for its 999 services.

“The Council recognise the importance of our fire and rescue service and has, over recent years, done everything possible to protect it against reductions in grant funding from the Government. We have progressed with investment in fire stations, training facilities, fire engines, firefighting clothing and equipment; and we have established a fantastic collaborative approach with Suffolk’s blue light emergency partners, with plans for more in the future.

“Without question, this is a challenging set of proposals. However, they have been shaped by the feedback we received during the recent pre-consultation held in the summer. I now encourage people to respond to this full consultation so we have a wide range of views to inform our final decisions regarding the future of the service.

“I am confident that these proposals mean we can continue to deliver an outstanding service to the residents of Suffolk. They have been developed after taking account of; the risk profile across the county; the number, location and type of fire stations and fire engines; the location of on-call and full-time firefighters; and the 999 call demand and casualty history over recent years - the details of which are all set out in the consultation documents. Once the consultation has concluded, the County Council’s Cabinet will consider the proposals and feedback from the consultation at a future Cabinet meeting.

Haverhill Online News

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