Closer working between the Police and the Fire & Rescue Service can unlock significant resources to deliver better emergency services in Essex. Roger Hirst, Conservative Candidate for Essex Police & Crime Commissioner, is undertaking to bring the two forces together under a single governance structure, to allow the existing cooperation to gather pace.
Roger said: “The potential for better joint working between the Police and Fire & Rescue is substantial. There are significant savings to be made through having a single back office dealing with legal, finance, procurement and HR issues. But the opportunity is much bigger than that and I can see ways that closer working can help protect our communities better and keep residents safe.
"First response units for incidents such as road traffic collisions can work more tightly together, with joint training, delegation of powers between the services, and coordination from a unified control room. We will make sure the right team is getting to the scene in the shortest possible time. There is already good collaboration through the Safer Essex Roads Partnership; bringing the two forces together under a single governance structure can remove some of the obstacles to taking that partnership forwards.
"There is also a lot more which the services can do together on crime prevention and improved home safety. Joint campaigns and single home visits to deal with home security and safety make sense. Better sharing of information can help identify and protect the most vulnerable; and joint programmes to work with young people and volunteers can mean the services share knowledge and experience and support each other in their work with the community.
From my discussions with officers in both services, I can say that there is a lot of enthusiasm for closer collaboration on both sides. Of course the forces will retain their own specialist skills and identities, but bringing them together in this way will deliver a better service to the public."