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Fire Service

Volume 449: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the level of provision was during the recent Hertfordshire fire strike for interim fire and rescue cover (a) to tackle fire and (b) to assist with road accidents. (88074)

Hertfordshire experienced three individual periods of strike action, on 20, 26 and 31 May 2006, each lasting for eight hours. The level of fire and rescue cover varied from 11 up to 16 pumping appliances, plus a specialist rescue vehicle. All pumping appliances had capability for both firefighting and road traffic accidents. The specialist rescue vehicle was for road traffic accidents. It was in service for the first two periods of strike action, but not for the last period, when the skills were available in other crews.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans the Government have to ensure inter-operability and improve communications between the fire service and the other emergency services. (86977)

The Firelink project, providing updated wide area radio communications to the fire and rescue service, will roll out from this autumn through until 2009. Firelink will provide inter-operability with police and ambulance services at strategic and tactical command levels.