Strategy changes and tax hike planned by fire service
PUBLISHED: 16:00 12 January 2019
Plans for the future of fire services in North Somerset have been revealed.
Avon Fire & Rescue Service has published a draft of its service plan for 2019-2022, which outline the organisation’s plans for how it will manage its resources in the coming years.
It outlines changes to strategy and response standards, and Avon Fire also plans to change how it responds to automatic fire alarms, ensuring high-risk calls are met with an adequate response while reducing resources tasked to low-risk incidents.
The plan also outlines the service’s budget, with an average Band D council tax payer set to see an increase of two to three per cent on their bill to an estimated £73.49 a year, subject to approval from the Avon Fire Authority.
Avon Fire has been maligned in several reports in recent years, and bosses hope the strategy changes will improve the service.
Chief Fire Officer, Mick Crennell, said: “The service is attending a high level of false alarm calls that are providing a large drain on our resources, taking firefighters away from lifesaving activities or risk reduction work in the community.
“Our risk analysis indicates we will have to develop new ways of working to ensure that we continue to provide a first class emergency service.
“As a service, we have to consider how we make the best use of our resources and how we maintain and increase the amount of preventative work we carry out.
“Together, through the commitments laid out in this plan, we aim to provide an outstanding service our staff and local people can be proud of and will continue to work hard to make our communities safer and make our service stronger.”
Consultation events will be held across the service’s catchment area in the coming weeks, where people can discuss the plan.
Don Davies, chairman of the Avon Fire Authority, encouraged people to share their views.
He said: “In the demanding financial and political climate we continue to face, there has never been a more important time to share with our communities what we are doing as a service, how we are doing it and why.”
For more information on the plan and dates of consultation events, log on to www.avonfire.gov.uk