Cost cutting brings new role for Oxfordshire’s fire service

Credit: ITV news

Credit: ITV news

A trial is underway which will see dangerous fallen trees being removed from Oxfordshire’s roads by the fire and rescue service. At the moment county council contractors deal with all fallen trees. Now in a bid to save money fire and rescue teams will be deployed instead. The council says it also believes a “blue light” response will be able to restore safety and traffic flows more quickly.

The work will be undertaken by the Fire and Rescue Service chainsaw trained firefighters. Only trees that fall onto roads will be dealt with by the fire service – trees falling on private land remain the responsibility of the owners. The council stresses that emergency call outs will remain the fire service’s top priority.

County Councillor David Nimmo Smith said: “Residents will know all about the work that our crews do to rescue people and put out fires, but clearly the range of things that they can help with is quite broad. I will be keen to see the results of the trial as it has the potential to provide a faster and more efficient service.”