Safety and cohesion--improving delivery at the heart of our communities: labour address: Fire Minister Jim Fitzpatrick MP: Fire Minister Jim Fitzpatrick outlined his achievements and aims for the future of the Fire Service at the LGA Fire Conference in Runcorn. The need for a Centre of Excellence was just one of the issues raised ...(LGA Conference)

The following are the key points from his presentation:

Changing Fire and Rescue Service

In the last eight months I have visited 14 fire and rescue services. The most consistent impression made upon me is the way the Fire and Rescue Service is reinventing and rediscovering itself 'New dimension's in air its aspects--integrated risk management plans, home fire risk checks, defibrillator deployment, individual training and development, to name a few--and much is being achieved.


We are making improvements across the Service. The culture of prevention and reducing risk is now firmly embedded. Many fire and rescue services are successfully reaching out and working with local partners to make local places and local people safer--particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. We can stilt do more.

But the latest statistics show the lowest number of accidental fire-related deaths for 45 years. The number of fires that needed the Fire and Rescue Service to attend fell by nearly 30 per cent and fires in the home were down by around six per cent.

The figures are encouraging but it will take even more to establish a firm trend. There are significant challenges ahead and only continuous improvement will deliver the modern, effective Fire and Rescue Service our citizens demand, and we all want to see in place.

Public Services

The government's aim is to transform public services, including the Fire and Rescue Service. That transformation is based on three principles. First, devolution of powers and responsibilities, so local authorities, local partners and local people have the opportunity to make decisions, and take the action needed to tackle problems and priorities in their own area. …

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