Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst, talks about one year on from taking over Essex Fire and Rescue Service:
“Today is the first anniversary since I took over responsibility for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service. I was the first Police and Crime Commissioner to take responsibility for a fire and rescue service, and I feel deeply privileged to have done so. I would like to thank my Deputy, Jane Gardner, and the rest of my team, for their hard work in bringing the new governance arrangements into existence.
“I have worked hard with both the fire and rescue service and Essex police to bring closer collaboration between the two services in the future so that we can deliver a more effective service for the public. We are currently working on a number of collaborative initiatives including joint fleet workshops, shared use of the estate and joint community safety functions.
“We have also recruited a new Chief Fire Officer, Jo Turton, who has held a number of executive roles in the public sector and brings a fresh pair of eyes to the fire service. More recently, we have also recruited a new CEO for my office, Pippa Brent-Isherwood, who also has a great deal of experience in developing public policy.
“An online public consultation on my draft Fire and Rescue Plan will soon go live and I encourage you all to complete it and tell us what you want to see included. The Plan will become the strategic document underpinning the fire and rescue service’s priorities over the next five years. We have consulted with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and its employees, local MPs, leaders and chief executives of councils and voluntary sector partners to get to this stage and I am pleased with the draft outline of the plan so far. It will of course be amended following the public consultation to reflect any necessary changes.
“I am proud of the work Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has done over this past year and thank everyone who works so hard to help keep the county safe.”