News

Modernisation of fire and rescue services

Published: 29 Sep 2021 09:28

Consultation on improving safety for Scottish communities.

The future role of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) as it adapts to meet new challenges is at the heart of a new consultation.

The overriding purpose of SFRS will remain the protection of communities, preventing fires and reducing their impact on society while maintaining the safety and mental wellbeing of staff.

However, the consultation will ask the public about the increasing impact of climate change and the need for SFRS to take account of greater risks from flooding and wildfires.

The importance of SFRS making a full contribution to the Scottish Government’s Net Zero emissions targets will also be highlighted at a time when Glasgow is preparing to host the COP26 environment conference in November.

Supporting the modernisation of SFRS and investing to allow it to expand its community safety and prevention work is a key commitment in the Programme for Government.

Other key issues in the consultation on an updated Fire and Rescue Framework for Scotland include:

  • use of new technology and modernisation of facilities and equipment
  • effective use of resources
  • keeping rural communities safe

Community Safety Minister Ash Denham said:

“Throughout the pandemic SFRS has been at the forefront of our response in meeting the needs of local communities in any way they are able to, from delivering prescriptions and food to using rural fire stations as Covid testing sites.

“In addition to the challenges which Covid recovery brings, Scotland is also facing significant changes as a result of EU exit, climate change, population changes and the expectations the public holds for all public services.

“All organisations need to adapt to these new demands and this framework will pave the way for further evolution, just as the challenges faced by SFRS continue to evolve.

“While the challenges Scotland faces are ever more complex, they also serve to foster opportunities for dynamic public sector organisations like SFRS to flourish and we encourage everyone who has an interest in this important consultation to have their say.”

Background

Take part in the consultation.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks after which responses will be analysed and the new Framework will be laid in Parliament this winter.

Scottish Ministers have a statutory duty to prepare a Fire and Rescue Framework for Scotland setting priorities and objectives and providing guidance to SFRS on the execution of its functions.

SFRS has a statutory duty to have regard to the Framework when preparing its Strategic Plan which sets out how it will deliver its functions as well as setting out the outcomes which will be used to measure its performance in doing so.

The Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 states that Scottish Ministers will keep the Framework under review. This is the third version of the Framework and updates the previous version which has been in place since September 2016.