Hayle is not only home to Cornwall’s first emergency services hub, but the town can also now boast a new type of emergency first responder.
The UK’s first Tri-Service Safety Officer, Andrew Hichens is a qualified on call firefighter with Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS), an emergency first responder for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and has also been trained in specific crime and disorder duties with Devon and Cornwall Police.
Andrew will be based at the new Hayle Tri-Service Centre, working alongside on call firefighters, local police officers and ambulance crews. Emergency responders from the three services began working from the hub in March 2015, giving the town and surrounding community greater protection. In time, the building will also be used to support a range of community activities.
An important part of Andrew’s role will be to help members of the community to keep themselves safe by working with local groups to spread safety messages. He will also report to Hayle Town Council keeping local councillors informed on incidents involving the emergency services.
Andrew, who has been an on call firefighter at Camborne Community Fire Station for the last eight years, will be based at the station in Hayle. Employed by CFRS, his role has been funded as part of a two-year Government pilot aimed at strengthening collaboration between blue light services.
“I was drawn to the job as it provides the community with a unique presence,” said Andrew. “I want to become a familiar face in the local community, someone the public are happy to see and who can respond to any incident or enquiry.”
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Phil Martin from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, said, “Andrew will be a familiar face in the community and working together with his colleagues in one building means we will all benefit from his shared expertise from across the three services.”
Neil Le Chevalier, Director of Operations for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said, “We are the first in the country to bring all three services into one building and the benefits are immense, particularly for the local community of Hayle where we have a dedicated person able to respond on behalf of the three services.”
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Netherton from Devon and Cornwall Police said; “The tri service officer is a groundbreaking idea being introduced into Cornwall. It brings together the skills and training of the three emergency services into one individual and means that we can provide a really effective first responder to any situation.
“This concept is very exciting and we are already thinking how we can expand this beyond Hayle. What it will do is, despite the tough austerity times for the emergency services, is provide local communities with a dedicated local officer who can provide that initial support to our local communities. This coupled with the development of the emergency tri service buildings will hopefully safeguard our presence in our communities as well as making us more effective in our response to emergencies and calls for help.”