Minister's visit to Cheshire Fire Service.

Cheshire Fire Service's range of innovative new projects was praised by ODPM Minister Jim Fitzpatrick when he made his first official visit to a fire authority since taking up office.

Mr Fitzpatrick was welcomed by Cheshire Fire Authority Chairman Cllr Tony Hooton and Chief Fire Officer Steve McGuirk, who presented him with a commemorative model fire engine.

During his time at HQ, the Minister heard about Cheshire's work to modernise its services and how it is using detailed risk analysis to set emergency response standards based on local needs.

Other key issues highlighted included:

* New projects to involve and educate young people such as establishing a fire cadet unit inside Thorncross Young Offenders Institute in Warrington--the first in the country

* The Service's new Targeted Response Vehicles (TRV)s, two-thirds size "midi" appliances which are to be used to tackle small nuisance fires, leaving main appliances to respond to priority calls

* Leading major partnership programmes such as the delivery of Cheshire's local public service agreement (LPSA) target to reduce death and injury from road traffic collisions

Cheshire Chief Fire Officer Steve McGuirk added: "We were delighted that the Minister dedicated so much time to his visit, particularly as it came just 24 hours after he led the announcement on regional control centres. …

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