General, HP, Surrey County Council, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

Surrey firefighters to get closer to communities to help prevent emergencies happening in the first place

Firefighters will work more closely with communities to prevent emergencies happening in the first place under a new plan to make Surrey a safer place to live.

They will go into schools, colleges, workplaces, homes and support groups to help people with “lifelong” safety, protecting them not just against house fires but also other kinds of emergencies such as road accidents and wildfire.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service is also looking at how it responds to incidents to make sure firefighters get to where they are needed as quickly as possible, such as by reducing the time it takes between a call coming in and firefighters leaving the station.

Proposals in the three-year Making Surrey Safer Plan include:

*Keeping the same network of fire stations and fire engines but crewing some differently at night to free up time for prevention work, while still maintaining cover to keep Surrey safe
*Expanding the catchment area for recruiting on-call firefighters in Dunsfold and Gomshall to attract more people to the service
*Charging for attending incidents that are not emergencies such as persistent false alarms, in line with many other fire services, following powers granted by government

Steve Owen-Hughes, Acting Chief Fire Officer for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Our plan is all about bringing firefighters closer to the communities we serve to help prevent emergencies and keep people safe, especially the most vulnerable in our society.

“By keeping the same number of fire stations and fire engines as we have now but crewing some of them differently at night, when there is less call on us, we’ll be able to do more life-saving prevention work and staff training, to make sure our crews are ready to help when needed.

“This will help us make the best use of our resources – we’d still have the fire cover we need to keep Surrey safe during the day and night but we’d be able to step up our community safety work to prevent emergencies in the first place. And when we do need to respond, we want to do so as quickly as possible, so we’re taking steps such as reducing the time it takes between a call coming in and our firefighters leaving the station.

“We really want to hear your views on our proposals and would encourage you to take part in our consultation.”

Click here to read the plan and have your say on our proposals. The consultation runs until 26 May.

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