Fire service opens consultation on draft plans for keeping people in Devon and Somerset safe

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Draft plans to further develop services to prevent fire and rescue emergencies and improve how the fire service responds to incidents are being consulted on by Devon and Somerset’s Fire Authority.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, which delivers services on behalf of the Fire Authority, is carrying out a consultation on its five-year Community Risk Management Plan.

The plan outlines the risks that communities are currently facing, or are likely to face, in the next five years and sets out the proposed actions the fire service will take to help keep people, homes, communities and the environment safe from fire and other emergencies.

Earlier this year, people and businesses across Devon and Somerset were asked about the dangers they faced and how the Fire Service could help them feel safer. Nearly 1,700 people shared their views which, together with incident data and other relevant local and national risk information, has helped the service develop a draft Community Risk Management Plan.

The focus for the service is on prevention, protection and emergency response work, in particular seeking to tailor services for those most at risk and increasing community engagement and partnership working to reduce risk and build resilience.

Members of the public, businesses and organisations representing residents across the two counties are being asked for views on the draft plan.

Councillor Sara Randall Johnson, Chair of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “We’re here to ensure that the people of Devon and Somerset are protected and supported by an effective and efficient fire and rescue service. It’s important that we hear from as many people and perspectives as possible so that no stone is left unturned in pursuit of our vision to end preventable fire and rescue emergencies.”

Chief Fire Officer Lee Howell said: “We live in an amazing, diverse place, with a mix of rural, coastal, urban and small market towns. This variety is what makes up to the character of our two counties and is why they are such great places to live and visit.

‘But it also creates a range of different risks that may lead to an emergency, that we will need to respond to, but will ideally like to prevent happening in the first place. Being aware of and adapting to the risks our different communities face is how we can provide an effective fire and rescue service.

‘Risks change over time and the draft plan shows that we have attended an increasingly broad range of incidents over recent years.
‘Our Community Risk Management Plan will focus our work, over the next five years, on reducing the likelihood of these risks and also being able to respond effectively should those risks cause real incidents. That’s why it’s important that people let us know whether we have identified the right risks and have effective plans in place to manage the risks.”

To read the plan and complete a short survey, visit: dsfire.gov.uk/community-risk-plan
The consultation will close at noon on Friday, 14th January, 2022. Those without online access or who need the document in another format can call the service on 01392 261287 or email CRMP@dsfire.gov.uk.

All responses will be treated as confidential. At the end of the consultation period, responses will be analysed by an independent organisation.

The final plan and consultation findings report will be presented to the Fire Authority so they can make an informed decision when approving the plan in February, 2022.

The Community Risk Management Plan is due to be published in April, 2022.

Author: Laura White

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