Commissioner to explore plans to merge Surrey Fire and Police service
Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, which is currently part of Surrey County Council, could become more closely linked with Surrey Police.
David Munro, the county police and crime commissioner, is setting up a project to explore options for the future governance of the fire and rescue service in Surrey.
The Government is currently bringing in a new Policing and Crime Bill, which makes provision for PCCs to take on the role of governance for fire and rescue authorities where there is a business case to do so.
The Surrey Fire and Rescue Service draft public safety plan 2016-2025 outlines how proposals to join with other fire services, and with the other emergency services, are a “key” part of the plan to save Surrey County Council £6million over the next five years.
Firefighters will also increasingly be scrambled to medical emergencies to help the stretched South East Coast Ambulance Service.
The PCC said this week: “Surrey Police and Surrey Fire and Rescue do a great job protecting the residents of this county and already have a history of working closely together.
“We have some very successful projects where the fire service in Surrey have taken on more responsibilities when responding to accidents and helping police in gaining access to buildings in an emergency.
“We have also made savings by procuring services together such as managing our vehicles.
“We need to work jointly with the fire and rescue service and Surrey County Council to consider whether a change in governance can bring about further improvements in public safety and improve our effectiveness and efficiency for the tax-payer.
“At this stage all options remain open and any future proposals will be fully consulted on by a wide range of organisations, the residents of Surrey and of course serving personnel and their representatives themselves.
“This will take time but it is vital this important project is given the proper consideration it needs.
“We know people want to see their emergency services working closer together and the overarching aim has to be providing the most effective police and fire and rescue services possible to keep the public of Surrey safe.”