Emergency servicesA new scheme will see Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and Essex Police working together to help make people safer in their homes.

The Parish Safety Volunteer scheme sees volunteers delivering fire safety, crime prevention and signposting people to well-being advice and help to people living in the same Parish as them. Created using funding from Essex County Council's Strengthening Communities Board, the scheme is an example of the excellent collaborative work taking place between Essex police and fire services. 

Each visit will last around an hour and will include crime prevention advice, fire safety advice, fitting of free smoke alarms, and letting people know where to get the best health and wellbeing guidance.

All of the volunteers undergo training by both police and fire service officers so they have the knowledge they need to deliver messages on behalf of both organisations. Two volunteers are already working in Wivenhoe and another 10 are nearing the end of their training and will soon be helping people in villages across the county. Acting Chief Fire Officer Adam Eckley said: “The Parish Safety Volunteer scheme is a fantastic example of the collaborative work taking place between us and Essex Police as we work together to make Essex safer.

“This is a community-based scheme and by using volunteers we are able to forge vital links in these communities which will live on long after the safety visit has taken place. “The volunteers all live in the same parish where they are carrying out the visits, they will be familiar faces to people in that community and that means that us and the police will have links to those people and their communities after the visits are over.

“This scheme shows the direction both organisations are heading in as we work more closely together to deliver protection and prevention advice to communities across Essex.”

Stephen Kavanagh, Chief Constable of Essex Police, said: “The enthusiasm and community spirit of Parish Safety Volunteers will be put to best use – making our communities safer.

“For both the police and the fire service it’s really important that we provide the right training so volunteers can give out vital guidance to residents on fire safety and how to make their homes more secure. Every smoke alarm fitted and every lock securing a shed or security light putting off a would-be burglar adds value to the work Parish Safety Volunteers are doing.”

Learn more about how our emergency services are developing new service delivery models by attending the Congress on Reimagining the Emergency Services on November 16, at West Midlands Fire Service HQ, Birmingham. This brings together the fire and rescue service, the police and ambulance service to discuss and develop a new blueprint for an integrated service delivery model for the emergency services