View Full Version : Fire board responds to audit criticism

08-Mar-12, 13:16
Plans are in place to address issues board will be told

HIGHLANDS and Islands Fire Board and Highlands & Islands Fire & Rescue Service acknowledge the findings of the Accounts Commission following a best value audit.
The report will be formally discussed at the next scheduled meeting of the Board on Friday 30 March. However, the issues highlighted within the report have already been discussed in detail at two previous Board meetings and two seminars. As a result, Highlands & Islands Fire & Rescue Service (HIFRS) have plans in place to address the issues in a comprehensive and structured manner.
To this end, leadership has been realigned within the Service to ensure an efficient and effective structure which will focus on community and firefighter safety and provide the highest standard of emergency response to the communities of the Highlands and Islands.
Councillor Richard Durham, convener of the Fire Board, said: “The Board recognises the issues raised and continues to work closely with Highlands & Islands Fire & Rescue Service to assess the sustainability of fire stations and to put in place a plan that takes us forward in a manner that best serves our communities in the future. I am pleased that the report recognised that improvement in Service leadership has been achieved over the last two years and that the Board are now in a position to make more informed decisions.”
Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Stewart Edgar confirmed: “We are actively addressing all of the issues within the report and are concentrating our efforts on community and firefighter safety. Our Safer Firefighter Programme is well underway and will ensure that the firefighters across the area achieve the national standards.”
Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Mike Holme added: “We are also currently working on a model which will match resources to the risks within our communities and develop the Service to meet the challenges presented in the report. It is our aim to ensure the sustainability of fire and rescue provisions within the Highlands and Islands whilst meeting best value principles.”