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Consultation on future of fire service underway

A twelve week consultation on the future of Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue service is underway.

The authority is urging people to have their say on a five-year plan that focuses on four projects including response standards, response use of technology, prevention and protection.

A 12 week consultation is underway on the future of Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue service Credit: ITV Meridian

"Since Royal Berkshire Fire Authority reviewed and reset their policy direction in 2014, which resulted in six new strategic commitments, RBFRS has been planning how these commitments would be delivered using its available resources and against the backdrop of Government spending cuts.

"These four key projects are the result of that planning activity and we hope that as many people as possible will let us have their views on them. This is just the first step, as we will be developing annual Action Plans, which will contain detailed information about what will be achieved in each of the four years between now and 2019, and an Annual Report will detail the progress made in that year.

"However, we are very keen to hear what you think about these key projects, for example, your views on how we manage risk, or if there are any other areas you think we should include in our projects.

"All the feedback we receive as part of the consultation process will be considered, so this really is your opportunity to help shape the future of your fire and rescue service."

– Area Manager Simon Jefferies

Residents help shape future of fire service

Hampshire Fire & Rescue Credit: ITV News Meridian

Hundreds of Hampshire residents have had their say in deciding the future of the county's fire service.

Over 650 residents went to a series of public meetings to hear Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service's future plans. Almost 30,000 people went onto their website to find out more, with hundreds completing a consultation survey to give their views on the plans, including how the fire service will respond to incidents in the future.

We are really pleased with the level of feedback we have had from this consultation over the future of our Service.

The number and quality of the submissions shows how highly our communities value their fire service and how important it is we take into account the views of the people we serve.

We will now spend time reviewing all the submissions and feedback to help us form the final proposals that will shape the future of Hampshire’s fire and rescue service.”

– Neil Odin, Deputy Chief Officer


Unconscious man rescued after pizza sets alight

A man from Andover had to be rescued after he left the oven on after cooking pizza.

The man fell unconscious after he put his food in the oven and fell asleep at his home on Saturday 26th April.

Smoke originally went undetected as the batteries had been removed from the downstairs smoke alarm.

Luckily, the upstairs alarm was activated and a neighbour raised the alarm.

The man was then carried unconscious from the house and was treated for smoke inhalation but did not require hospital treatment.

Cooking after a night out, especially if alcohol has been involved, is usually a bad idea. You're far more likely to fall asleep, leaving the the cooking to burn. In this incident, the problem was compounded by the fact the batteries had been removed from the smoke alarm downstairs. This is clearly a very dangerous thing to do and in this case the presence of a second smoke alarm upstairs proved to be a potential lifesaver."

– Station Manager Glenn Bowyer, from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service's community safety team

Fire Service urge public to stay safe during strikes

As many across the Meridian will celebrate New Year's Eve tonight, Hampshire Fire Service are warning residents to take extra care.

Further industrial action by the Fire Bridgade's Union goes ahead between 6.30pm and 12.30am tonight.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service will be answering and responding to emergency calls as usual, but response times may be affected by the strike action.

Assistant Chief Officer Bob Ratcliffe said: "We want everyone to have a fantastic New Year’s Eve but we also want the night to pass safely and for people to remember that there will be fewer firefighters and vehicles available to us during this strike period.”

Firefighters' strike on New Year's Eve

Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service is again reminding people to ‘take extra care’ when firefighters go out on strike on New Year’s Eve.

The dispute between the Fire Brigades’ Union and the Government is over pension reforms, firefighters will be walking out for six hours from 6.30pm on 31 December.

A further strike has been called for two hours from 6.30am on the morning of 3 January.

New Year’s Eve is a time when people want to celebrate, so we would urge everyone to have a good time but to also take extra care when they’re out and about. Because of the strike, we will have reduced resources available but we are ensuring that we maintain cover to the best of our ability. People should still call 999 if they have an emergency – we will attend, but it may take us a little longer than usual to arrive.”

– Simon Routh-Jones, Chief Fire Officer