Why does Avon Fire and Rescue Service pay more than other authorities?

Basic firefighting equipment is costing fire services radically different amounts.

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Following the Home Office’s fire service spend data, we saw that Avon Fire and Rescue Service was paying a lot more for identical or similar products.

In most cases Avon Fire and Rescue Service is paying far more than its counterpart across Somerset and Devon.

Based on the data published, Avon Fire and Rescue Service was found to have spent £1,280 on individual laptop computers, the single highest per unit cost of all 45 organisations included in the data.  Five such devices were obtained by Avon at the given cost; although no further specific details were given in the data around the type of equipment acquired.

The biggest difference was the amount they spent on a medium rescue pumping appliance. Avon spent £226,070 on one appliance, while Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service ordered five, but spent £48,910 less for each one. Even with everyday items, such as T-shirts, prices vary. Avon paid £13.05 per T-shirt while Devon and Somerset paid just £4.70.

The Avon spokesman told the Times the authority purchased a ‘higher-standard’ of shirt for increased durability.

The Avon Fire spokesman said the service will continue to explore where improvements can be made to ensure value for money.