Cheshire Fire Authority Approves IRMP 2020-2024
At its meeting on Wednesday (1 July), Cheshire Fire Authority approved the publication of its Integrated Risk Management Plan 2020-2024 (IRMP). The IRMP sets out the strategic plan for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) over the next four years.
Chair of Cheshire Fire Authority, Councillor Bob Rudd said:
“The Fire Authority endorsed this IRMP because it is ambitious and will make Cheshire a safer place to live and work for both our communities and our firefighters. The Authority has had to take difficult decisions in recent years because of cuts to our funding. Therefore it is pleasing to approve a plan that invests in our future and will provide Cheshire with the first-class fire and rescue service it deserves.”
The development of the IRMP has taken two years and has been informed through extensive consultation with staff, trade unions, local stakeholders, partner agencies and residents across Cheshire.
Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin said:
“This is an exciting plan. It enables us to balance our resources more effectively, improves our emergency response to keep the community and our firefighters safe, and helps us future-proof against emerging risks. This, along with our existing capital programmes, will result in a fire and rescue service that provides even better outcomes for the community. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in shaping this plan and I look forward to bringing it to fruition over the next four years”
Key elements of the IRMP include:
Relocating the second fire engine at Ellesmere Port Fire Station to Powey Lane Fire Station. The fire engine at Powey Lane would then move to Chester. The net outcome of this is to have one fire engine at Ellesmere Port Fire Station, one fire engine at Powey Lane Fire Station and two fire engines at Chester Fire Station. This balances our existing resources across Cheshire West and Chester, while ensuring both Ellesmere Port and Chester are afforded with some of the fastest response times across the whole of Cheshire.
Replacing the aerial appliance and a fire engine at Macclesfield Fire Station with a High-Reach Fire Engine (HRFE). The HRFE will replace a fire engine and the current aerial appliance, which is at the end of its serviceable life. The HRFE combines the functions of a traditional fire engine with the capability to apply water from height.
Introducing a Day Crewing Duty System at Wilmslow Fire Station. This change would provide guaranteed overnight cover at Wilmslow without the need to bring in supporting resources from other areas of Cheshire, while providing a cost saving over the current crewing system.
Improving its response to road traffic collisions by expanding its fleet of Rapid Response Rescue Units (RRRU). RRRU will be placed on each primary on-call fire station, giving a fleet of 13 RRRU across Cheshire. These will help firefighters respond quicker to road traffic collisions, meaning better outcomes for casualties. In time, these may also be used to fulfil other roles to improve CFRS’s response in the community.
Developing a wildfire capability. This will enable firefighters to use specialised equipment to more effectively tackle wildfires that can occur in particular areas of Cheshire.
Reviewing water response and provision. This will ensure that CFRS can meet emerging risks and needs to take into account flooding and other impacts from climate change.
Reviewing its specialist vehicles and new equipment. This will ensure that CFRS’s specialist vehicles are placed in the right location to provide the best response across Cheshire. This will also see investment in a water carrier to provide large quantities of water at a fire, when required. CFRS will continually review new and emerging equipment to ensure our firefighters have the tools they need to do their job effectively and safely.
Expanding the Safe and Well programme to lone person and single parent households. This expansion will enable CFRS to engage with more vulnerable people in the community to help keep them safe from fire and other risks.
Develop a Strategic Road Safety Plan. CFRS will work with local partner agencies to develop a plan and together make a real impact on reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads in Cheshire.
Review its Risk-Based Inspection Programme. This will ensure that CFRS’s programme of inspecting non-domestic properties across Cheshire effectively targets those properties most at risk and takes into account emerging developments and requirements regarding fire safety.
Launch a safety campaign for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). There are particular fire safety risks regarding HMO. The development of a safety campaign and working with partner agencies aims to reduce the risk of fire in these properties and keep residents safe.
Expand its ‘Sprinkler Save Lives’ campaign. This will educate and advise business owners and residential high-rise properties on the benefits of fitting sprinkler systems.
In addition to the plans laid out in the IRMP, the Authority is progressing with an ambitious capital programme to modernise most of its fire stations; build replacement fire stations at Chester and Crewe, and develop a new state-of-the-art operational training facility at its Sadler Road site in Winsford.
To view the IRMP 2020-2024, please click on the link below:
IRMP 2020-2024 (new window, PDF 4991KB)
The IRMP was subject to an 18 week consultation involving residents, staff and stakeholders across Cheshire. The feedback from this consultation was considered at the Fire Authority meeting on 1 July 2020. The consultation documents considered by the Authority can be viewed by following this link: 1 July 2020 Fire Authority Meeting