PROPOSALS to more than quadruple the number of volunteers who provide community fire safety help and advice are among projects planned by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service for 2008-09.
The service already has about 120 people who support firefighters and community safety advocates in delivering fire prevention advice.
Its draft corporate plan/integrated risk management plan 2008-09 proposes increasing volunteer numbers to 500 by 2010 and to 1,000 by 2013.
Fire Authority Chair Tony Hooton said: “With the support of our advocates, volunteers can make a major contribution to helping families and businesses avoid the tragedy and trauma which fires cause.
“Volunteers are often well-placed to influence their local communities and we believe they will be able to make an even greater contribution in the future across the services we provide.”
The draft plan is out for public consultation and residents and businesses are urged to give views using online forms at www.cheshirefire.gov.uk.
Alternatively, comments can be sent by e-mail to email@example.com or by post to Freepost, Cheshire Fire Consultation – closing date is February 8.
Budget – aim to keep the service’s Council Tax precept increase for 2008-09 to no more than 3%.
Cheshire Standards – a detailed review of the standards and risk levels used by the service in responding to all emergency incidents.
New training centre – creating dedicated training facilities at Frodsham fire station to test and develop staff’s incident command skills.
New vehicles – continuing the development of midi fire appliances (TRVs) and combined appliances which operate as both a standard fire appliance and a hydraulic platform.
Road traffic collisions – working with partners to cut the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads and increasing the trauma skills and training of our staff.
Fire cadet units – looking at options to run schemes at specific locations such as schools and on estates as well as fire stations.
Access to critical information – improving how the service records and accesses information on the design and structure of commercial buildings.
Local government reorganisation – dedicating resources to ensure the service’s role and responsibilities are fully considered in future arrangements and local area agreements.
Staff development – begin marketing a high potential development scheme aimed at individuals with the potential to move quickly through the service to middle management roles and beyond.