02 February 2017
Surrey Fire and Rescue Service could be brought under the supervision of the county Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) as part of plans to save money.
The Farnham Herald reports that David Munro, the county PCC, is setting up a project to explore options for the future governance of the fire and rescue service.
The Government is bringing in a new Policing and Crime Bill, which makes provision for PCCs to take on the role of governance for fire and rescue authorities where there is a business case to do so.
The plan is part of a long-term strategy to save Surrey County Council £6 million over the next five years.
Firefighters will also increasingly be scrambled to medical emergencies to help the stretched South East Coast Ambulance Service, a model replicated in other areas of the UK.
The PCC said this week: “Surrey Police and Surrey Fire and Rescue do a great job protecting the residents of this county and already have a history of working closely together.
“We have some very successful projects where the fire service in Surrey have taken on more responsibilities when responding to accidents and helping police in gaining access to buildings in an emergency.
“We have also made savings by procuring services together such as managing our vehicles.
“We need to work jointly with the fire and rescue service and Surrey County Council to consider whether a change in governance can bring about further improvements in public safety and improve our effectiveness and efficiency for the tax-payer.
“At this stage all options remain open and any future proposals will be fully consulted on by a wide range of organisations, the residents of Surrey and of course serving personnel and their representatives themselves.”