Date: 30th September, 2021
Today (30th September 2021) Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority met, received the Annual Report, and discussed funding for the fire and rescue service.
The Authority was presented with and discussed the Annual Report 2020/21, which highlights some key successes of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) over the last year. These include:
- Over 8,500 children across Dorset and Wiltshire receiving virtual fire, road and water safety education messages.
- The rebranding and launch of our new young people’s programme, SPECTRA, which is based on the successful SPARC and Salamander courses.
- Despite the pandemic, over 6,000 Safe and Well checks were undertaken in the community, ensuring that residents are as safe as they can be from fire in their homes.
- 4,141 positive fire safety interactions with businesses and over 1,000 building regulations consultations took place, as part of our statutory duties.
- Over 13,000 incidents have been attended, which included 101 rescues from fire and 274 rescues from road traffic collisions
- The support given to partners and our communities during the coronavirus pandemic including ambulance driving, facefit testing and support to HM Coroner.
Chair of the Fire and Rescue Authority, Cllr Rebecca Knox said: “I am very pleased to have received another successful Annual Report from the Chief Fire Officer on the work of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Service. COVID-19 has provided many challenges for the Service but, as they always do, staff and the senior leadership team have risen to the challenge and supported their communities. This was recognised by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in January.”
Cllr Knox added: “There are some key decisions and work that needs to be undertaken to ensure that, wherever possible, all the activities within the Annual Report can continue within budget. Members of the Authority and I continue to support the Chief Fire Officer in trying to make this happen.”
Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell said: “The ongoing achievements of DWFRS and the way in which staff have responded to the coronavirus pandemic are something I am extremely proud of. Ensuring the Service can continue to deliver against our priorities, serve our communities and deliver a balanced budget, is key. We are currently in financially challenging times. DWFRS is a strong performing and cost-effective organisation, judged as ‘Good’ by HMICFRS against all three pillars of effectiveness, efficiency and people. I continue to work with elected Members to look for a modest increase in our council tax precept to ensure we can maintain the levels of service to our communities and partner agencies in future years.
The DWFireRescue podcast, which provides updates on the work of DWFRS over the last three months, can also be viewed on the DWFire YouTube channel.