Peter DartfordIn this guest blog, CFOA President Peter Dartford looks at partnership working beyond the blue light services: 
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I would hope that everyone involved in the fire sector is by now completely behind the idea that fire prevention is the best and most effective way to keep the public safe. I think most people now also recognise that better outcomes can be delivered for communities when all the blue light services work together to integrate their delivery.

For me, the next big thing is how fire and rescue services can work with our partners in the health service to help them to deliver against their priorities. Nearly all of the critical risks facing the UK as a whole are related in some way to health; be it obesity, the ageing population or pandemic diseases and infections.

But the reasons [for doing so] aren’t entirely altruistic either. The NHS and healthcare budgets dwarf those of the Fire and Rescue Service, so engagement may be an important way of maintaining resources to support frontline service provision; either through a commissioned model or perhaps through pooled budgets. 

CFOA is actively pursuing closer links between the Fire and Rescue Service and the NHS at a national level, and exploring with health colleagues ways of implementing the best practice across the UK.

These are challenging times for the Fire and Rescue Service, but I’m convinced that this is an opportunity to deliver much better outcomes for the population.

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