Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority have today supported the proposals developed in the 2024 Resource Review.

From Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service:

These proposals aim to ensure Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) make the changes needed to ensure we use our funding in order to be as efficient and effective as we possibly can. 

The outcome of the Resource Review will see the removal of seven On-Call fire engines (from fire stations with more than one fire engine), that have historically attended a very low number of incidents and have low levels of average availability primarily due to the acute challenges in recruiting and retaining On-Call Firefighters.

There will be no reduction to the first fire engines at any of our 25 fire station locations; in fact, as a result of these changes, some first fire engines should have better availability, larger crew sizes, and become more resilient.

It must be emphasised that these changes are not cuts, and will see every penny saved reinvested into the staffing and crewing of the remaining 34 fire engines by employing more full-time firefighters across both counties and further improving how we manage and support our On-Call fire engines. 

We will be focusing on increasing crewing and resilience on the busiest fire engines, and investing more in the remaining On-Call fire engines, as well as developing some new ways of working to improve the service to our communities; this will include increasing our prevention work in some areas.

This reinvestment of public money ensures the efficient use of our resources and funding and provides assurance to the communities we serve that we are continuously looking to provide the best service possible with the resources we have, across Herefordshire and Worcestershire. 

I would like to thank all those who have engaged with us throughout the consultation process. Your opinions are valued greatly, have been listened to and some changes to the proposals have been made as a result.

The implementation of the proposals will take place in the near future with local communication on next steps starting week commencing 01 July 2024 at the impacted locations.

I look forward to seeing how the reinvestment ultimately improves the service to our communities with first fire engines becoming more resilient, better staffed and available more of the time.