Home Office consulting on plans to reform fire and rescue services

Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Now open for a two month consultation period, Reforming our Fire and Rescue Service is the long awaited white paper that sets out the Government’s agenda to improve fire and rescue in England.

The white paper is based on three themes: people, professionalism and governance.

At the centre of the White Paper are plans to deliver increased public safety by improving the professionalism of the fire and rescue service through modern workforce practices and potentially establishing a College of Fire and Rescue.

It will improve accountability through the proposals to transfer fire governance to a single elected individual, overseeing delivery by operationally independent Chief Fire Officers.

The Home Office said that it will listen to the views of the public and stakeholders arising from this 10 week consultation, after which it will finalise its reform programme.

Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP said,

“The government’s priority is keeping the public safe and the reforms we’ve set out today will strengthen and support our hard-working fire and rescue services. The White Paper will be transformative in how firefighters are trained and will enable fire and rescue services to build on their strengths and leadership. The Grenfell tragedy must never happen again and we are continuing to drive forward progress on putting the Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommendations into law.”

In addition to the white paper, the government has also published a raft of other fire-related documents covering the Fire Safety Act, an update on work arising from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommendations and a new consultation on evacuation.

The white paper can be found here and the consultation runs from 18 May to 26 July 2022.