Decisions on issues such as the provision of fire services and the closure of fire stations are taken by individual Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRAs) as part of the Integrated Risk Management Planning process.
FRAs are required by the Fire and Rescue Service National Framework to have in place and maintain an Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) which reflects local need and sets out plans to tackle effectively both existing and potential risks to communities. The IRMP enables the authority to tailor cover for fire and other incidents to local circumstances—evaluating where risk is greatest and allocating resources, accordingly. That would include decisions regarding the appropriate deployment of all firefighters including those working on the retained duty system.
A range of guidance on the drawing up of IRMPs has been issued to FRAs and is available on the Communities and Local Government website.
The primary reason for the delays to the Firelink project arose from the contractor’s under-estimate of the time required to enhance the resilience of their network. All Fire and Rescue Services excepting two are now migrated onto the Firelink system; Shropshire and London are scheduled to be migrated by March 2010.