The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA), The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) and The Association of Police Chief Officers (ACPO) have grouped together to agree a number of key principles regarding future collaboration as a professional response to the changing financial climate in order to secure public health, safety and wellbeing.
Lynne Owens, National Policing Lead for Uniformed Operations, ACPO said “It is good to be able to make our shared position on these things public. It is important to be clear that close working is necessary for reasons of efficiency and to protect the public”.
The services have been working closely together to explore collaboration and integration in order to provide a better service to the public for many with the establishment of the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP) to develop how services can work together at serious and major incidents.
ACPO's partners are also keen to support innovative approaches to service delivery and have developed a number of position statements to cover multi-agency working.
CFO President Paul Fuller said “I am delighted that the three services have come together to agree a number of common areas where we can work together to deliver our key objectives of improving public health, safety and wellbeing.
“Fire and Rescue Services face significant financial challenges and it is clear that working closely together will deliver more efficient and effective emergency response services”.
Martin Flaherty, Managing Director of AACE, added: “Joint working is nothing new to our three organisations and now that we have agreed a key set of principles around further collaboration we can continue to build on the good examples already in place. In doing so we must ensure that new areas of collaboration are fully evaluated so that we can determine which of those are sensible, workable and truly deliver benefits for our patients and the public.”
The government is expected to release a response to Sir Ken Knight’s review of Fire and Rescue Services in the near future, which will include its views on wider blue light collaboration. AACE, ACPO and CFOA will respond to the white paper in due course.