A survey conducted as part of the Local Government Association annual fire conference this week [20/21 Mar] show that more than half of the public back outsourcing of key fire brigade services.

While an overwhelming 92 per cent of the over 1,750 respondents thought the key role of responding to fires should always be carried out by firefighters, the majority felt that roles such as working with young people, fitting smoke alarms and control centre call responses could be taken on by other organisations.

Chairman of the LGA's Fire Services Management Committee Brian Coleman said: "To keep protecting the millions of people who rely on us, while dealing with substantial cuts to our budgets, we must find new and bold ways of doing things.

"These opinion poll findings prove that, as long as the support is there, the public don't mind who it is that carries out safety checks on their home or comes round to fit a smoke alarm. Many fire authorities are already making huge strides at making savings while maintaining the standard of protection and level of support they provide to their local areas. Now is the time for radical change and fresh thinking to ensure that the public get the best protection and the best value for money."

Protecting the frontline by finding new approaches to fire authority functions is a key topic on the agenda at the LGA's two-day fire conference and you can get up-to-minute coverage of everything that happens by following:

@fire_editor on Twitter

Posted 20/03/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com