While the Whitehall farce that is central government appears to be a bad pastiche of a Dad’s Army episode, it is true that eventually the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic will be over. Emerging infectious disease was correctly assigned a high probability score (four out of five) of occurring within five years in 2017, but only given a way off-the-mark “middling” impact score (three out of 5). The lessons learned and plans made to combat the flu pandemic during the past decade or so were forgotten and so now we will be faced with a tumultuous period of uncertainty during which the country and its citizens must all come to terms with what has happened and face an uncertain future.

At FIRE magazine, we look into the future and what it will bring for the Fire and Rescue Service: will it be part of the collateral damage falling out of the disaster or can it redefine itself, changing like a chameleon to blend in with the ‘new normal’?

Predictions of how the future for the UK is going to look ranges from those of the optimistic “broad sunlit uplands” gang or the “we’re all doomed” mob. So, perhaps it is time to look forward, taking neither the utopian or dystopian future as predicted by many but rather a more nuanced best- and worst-case scenario for the future of British fire and rescue services.

Read the full article on our digital issue, pages 15-18.