Speaking at today's Fire Industry Association conference, Chief Executive Graham Ellicott criticised the trading record of many fire and rescue services.

Addressing delegates at the Fire Industry Association's annual conference at the Heritage Motor Centre in Warwickshire, Chief Executive Graham Ellicott said many fire and rescue services were not trading legally. "Of the 25 or so fire and rescue services that do trade, only five or six do so legally using arm's length companies. The others who are trading directly need bringing into line to either do it legally or close down altogether. They can't trade directly unless they are not making a profit."

Another issue of concern to the FIA is fire and rescue service response to automatic fire alarms, he said, which is also inconsistent across services. The association have been trying to influence fire and rescue services in regards to best practice, which is being listened to, he assured, pointing to Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service not reducing their attendance.

Looking to the future, Mr Ellicott expressed surprise that austerity has not driven more mergers. "Even East and West Sussex can't find the energy and wherewithal to merge," he said, a move he found "staggering", especially as Scotland is merging into one service.

Internally, the association is thriving, he told delegates, having passed the 500 member mark at a time when many trade associations have been losing members. Training is going from strength to strength, he said, with eight events running between now and September, all of which is "adding competence to the workforce in the market-place, contributing to a reduction in losses to property and lives."

Pointing to partnership working with other trade associations such as BAFSA as the way forward, he said there is now a delivery vacuum that the Fire Sector Partnership could help to fill, the history and drivers of which the next speaker, Brian Robinson, would go on to explain.


Posted March 15th, 2012 at 1440 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: andrew.lynch@pavpub.com