Police and fire to co-locate assets at several locations
Today (21 March 2016), the Policy and Resources Committee of Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority gave approval for officers to develop plans with West Mercia Police to co-locate police and fire assets at selected on-call (retained) fire stations.
West Mercia Police and Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) already work collaboratively on a number of projects and continually explore opportunities for closer working in order to deliver more efficient and improved ways of working.
An examination of police and fire properties across Herefordshire and Worcestershire has led to some sites being identified as suitable for possible future co-location. Following an evaluation of potential locations a number of sites have been deemed suitable by both organisations; these are Peterchurch Fire Station, Tenbury Wells Fire Station and Bromyard Fire Station. There is also the possibility of consolidating Kington Police and Fire Stations into one site, however it is likely that this would form part of a longer term piece of work.
Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates said: "Seizing these opportunities to co-locate with the police not only fits in with the government's blue light agenda, but also makes more effective use of publicly owned assets and demonstrates our commitment towards more efficient and effective joint working. Our on-call fire stations are only occupied for a hand full of hours every week and achieving better and more effective use should benefit both organisations and the local communities"
He continued: "Each of the three locations so far identified only require relatively minor adjustments in order to accommodate the needs of our police colleagues. Although police and fire personnel will be situated on the same site at these locations, their functions will remain completely separate."
Further benefits in collocating with the police include increased site security, opportunities for improved working practices and efficiencies for both organisations.
West Mercia Deputy Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: "We are totally committed to the idea of co-locating with other 'blue light' services. This move with Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service reflects our ambition to work ever more closely with a range of partner organisations in the communities we serve."
He added: "We believe that, in the interests of efficiency and best use of public money, it makes good sense for us to work together in sharing the four buildings that have been identified. By doing this, we reduce the overall cost of maintaining premises and ensure that precious resources are focused on our officers, staff and volunteers who deliver the policing services to protect people from harm."
Corporate Communications Manager
Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service
Tel: 01905 368 319