You have probably never spent much time considering how your fire and rescue service works to reduce the likelihood of an emergency happening to you. We hope this brief guide gives you a reassuring insight into the depth of the planning and work that goes on to help you stay safe.
We need and want to tell you about what we think the issues are, and consult you on any proposals we want to make which change the service you receive. This plan is mostly to tell you how we do this, what we think about and what we then do with the information. It also covers some investments for the future we are making, and where we want to set the Council Tax for 2020/21.
All fire services, by law, have to assess risks in their areas. In Kent and Medway we want to get the best possible understanding and assessment of public safety across Kent and Medway, and all the things that we think could reasonably predict happening that could cause injury or loss of property. This is best done with your help so we understand the issues which could make you more vulnerable, and the needs you have from us. We can then develop ways to help change behaviour to reduce harm, through our prevention work, or our emergency response service.
It’s all about you…
We focus on people and how their individual needs can best be served. For example:
- People living with some forms of dementia, or physical or mental disabilities may be more vulnerable to fire and may need tailored support in the event of an emergency.
- People may be at risk because of the nature of buildings in which they live.
- People could be impacted by risks in their local area, such as grass fires, coastal flooding or similar risks within their community.
We look at these alongside broader issues in society such as how populations change and how a warmer climate might affect fires.
Bringing all these risks together we work out the blend of fire stations, firefighters and specialist equipment and teams that we need, in order to get to you as quickly as possible within the money we have available to us. We look at what work we can do to prevent fires and road traffic collisions by helping people change to safer behaviours, and also what we can do to make buildings safer.
The first part of this plan is a summary of the eight elements we bring together to understand how best to serve you. We are very happy to give you a more in-depth explanation should you wish by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nick Chard, Chairman of Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority