Date: 30th September, 2020
Today (30th September 2020) Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority held another successful virtual meeting, where they received the Annual Report and discussed funding for the fire and rescue service. The meeting was broadcast live and was able to be viewed by residents across Dorset & Wiltshire.
The Fire and Rescue Authority was able to utilise technology and hold a very productive meeting. The Authority was presented with and discussed the Annual Report 2019/20, which highlights some key successes of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) over the last year. These include:
- Over 41,000 children across Dorset and Wiltshire receiving fire, road and water safety education messages.
- The continuity of youth intervention courses which have a huge impact on local communities. For every £1 DWFRS invest in the Firesetters scheme for example, a societal saving of £4.52 is generated. This includes savings for not only DWFRS but also Police, Ambulance and NHS services.
- Almost 13,000 Safe and Well checks undertaken in the community, ensuring that residents are as safe as they can be from fire in their homes.
- 5,280 positive fire safety interactions with businesses and over 1,000 fire safety audits in business premises
- Over 14,000 incidents have been attended, which included 86 rescues from fire and 301 rescues from road traffic collisions
- There was a 5% reduction in accidental dwelling fires from 2018/19
The Authority also received a strategic financial update from the Treasurer. This highlighted the financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, the forecasted budget gap faced by the Authority and the work ongoing by officers to address this.
Chair of the Fire and Rescue Authority, Cllr Rebecca Knox said: “I am very pleased to have chaired another virtual meeting of the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority. The Coronavirus pandemic has provided some challenges and opportunities for the Authority and the Service. The opportunity it provided us to hold meetings in this way was well received by all the Members and I look forward to continuing to embrace to work like this and holding future meetings in a more virtual way.
Rebecca added: “I am delighted at the positive work undertaken by the Fire and Rescue Service in the past year against the five priorities which is displayed in the Annual Report. There are some key decisions and work that needs to be undertaken to ensure that, wherever possible, these activities can continue within budget and I am working closely with the Chief Fire Officer 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 already a lean organisation, which has been judged by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services as ‘Good’ in all areas of their inspection (effectiveness, efficiency and people). We are currently in financially challenging times and I continue to work with Members, staff, partner agencies and our communities to navigate our way through this.
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 – https://youtu.be/lvGQnREW9zE