Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service came into being on 1 April 2016, following a formal combination between the former Fire Authorities of Dorset and Wiltshire & Swindon.
Both county FRSs were originally formed in 1948, with the introduction of the Fire Service Act of 1947 that saw control of fire brigades being handed to local authorities, usually county councils.
In 1997, local government reorganisation created the new unitary authorities of Swindon Borough Council, Bournemouth Borough Council and the Borough of Poole. As a result, new Combined Fire Authorities were formed – Wiltshire & Swindon, and Dorset.
It was these Authorities which agreed in November 2014 to formally combine with one another, forming a new Fire and Rescue Service to serve the two geographic counties of Dorset and Wiltshire.
The combined Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service now serves the local authority areas of Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole, Dorset, Swindon, and Wiltshire.
Every Fire and Rescue Service in the UK has its own unique badge, which is based upon the eight pointed star that represents the cross of St John. The eight points or ‘tenets’ are said to represent the knightly virtues of:
The badge is based on the Wiltshire Wyvern and the Dorset Salamander, which featured in the old Authority designs, with both carrying the torch for the organisation.