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Your Fire and Rescue Service

Your Fire and Rescue Service

Your Fire and Rescue Service

Making North Wales a safer place to live, work and visit.

The Fire and Rescue Authority comprises 28 elected councillors from the six unitary authorities of North Wales, with the number of representatives determined by the population of the area.

More information about the Authority, its members and responsibilities can be found here.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is led by a Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive and a Service Leadership Team. This comprises Senior Officers and Managers who are responsible for departments looking after our Services key operational and corporate functions.

Response - Our firefighters respond to fires, road traffic collisions and other emergencies from 44 fire stations across North Wales. In total we have 54 fire engines.

Some of our fire stations have two fire engines. Other stations have specialist vehicles like aerial ladder platforms, incident support vehicles or boats, depending on the risk in their area.

In total we have 54 fire engines, but they are not all available at the same time. This may be because:

  • crews are undertaking mandatory training,
  • large incidents that require multiple fire engines, or
  • because on-call fire engines have insufficient crew.

For that reason, we constantly move our firefighters around North Wales to ensure that we can get to incidents as quickly as possible regardless of where they happen. In the event of a significant or long-running incident we can also call on the support of neighbouring fire and rescue services if we need to.

We have four duty systems so we can crew our fire engines based on local risks and needs. How we currently deploy our firefighters is subject to the Emergency Cover Review, which you can read more about here.

Wholetime Fire Engines

Firefighters operating the wholetime duty system are located at Wrexham, Deeside and Rhyl. Crews at these stations work shifts from the station at night and during the day so as to provide a 24-hour immediate response. In addition, there are also on-call firefighters based at these fire stations.

Day Crewing Fire Engines

Firefighters located at Colwyn Bay, Llandudno, Bangor, Caernarfon and Holyhead work the day crewing duty system. This shift system requires our crews to work a combination of hours on station during the day and to remain on-call from a location within five minutes of the fire station overnight in order to provide a 24-hour response. There are also on-call firefighters based at these fire stations.

Wholetime Duty Rural Firefighters

Firefighters operating the wholetime duty rural system, work 12-hour day shifts covering the region on a dynamic basis, depending on demand.

On-call Fire Engines

Our on-call firefighters operating the retained duty system operate across all of our fire stations but the majority are based in rural fire stations located in the region. They are required to live or work within five minutes of their fire station in order to respond to emergencies. They also attend drill nights once a week for training sessions and other pre-arranged duties.

Control Room Staff

When anyone in North Wales dials 999 / 112 and asks for the fire and rescue service, they will be put through to control staff at the Joint Communications Centre in St. Asaph.  The Joint Communications Centre is a collaborative facility where North Wales Fire and Rescue Service shares an operational floor with North Wales Police. Opened in 2008, the major drivers for this collaboration was to save lives and reduce serious injuries. It represents an innovative approach to joint emergency service working, placing North Wales at the very forefront of 999 operations.

Control staff are responsible for the immediate despatch of our firefighters across North Wales along with any specialist equipment that is required. They deal with thousands of emergency calls each year, many of which are life threatening, and are trained to deal with callers who are trapped and offer fire survival assistance.

The following are the teams that are essential to ensuring that our firefighters have the ability to respond to emergencies and deliver our community safety initiatives, as well as ensuring the Service operates within budget, and discharges its legal obligations and statutory reporting responsibilities:

Human Resources and Business Support manages recruitment, onboarding, and welfare and provides advice on employee relations, discipline, grievances, job evaluation, and legal compliance. 

Corporate Planning, Performance and Transformation publishes statutory long-term plans, performance assessments and monitoring reports on behalf of the Fire Authority. The team also oversees Business Continuity, Strategic Risk, and Project Management and leads strategic transformational projects such as the Emergency Cover Review. 

Training and Development is responsible for training operational personnel in risk critical skills areas. It is also responsible for maintaining accreditation for awarding qualifications, Health, Fitness & Wellbeing, Equalities, Diversity & Inclusion, Development to Competent, Leadership and Management and the professional development for all staff. 

Corporate Communications ensures that the Services messages are seen, heard, and understood. The team maintains the Services reputation with the aim of earning understanding, influencing opinion and behaviour and ensures the English and Welsh languages are treated equally, to be able to offer language choice to the public and our staff, and compliance with the Welsh Language Standards. 

Information and Communication Technology ensure that the Services vital ICT

infrastructure is protected from cyber-attacks and facilitates the best use of the digital tools available to Service staff. 

Prevention and Protection focuses on household and community safety, and non-residential fire safety. Prevention staff deliver fire safety and health & wellbeing advice to households, road and water safety education, arson reduction initiatives, engaging with young people and managing volunteers. Protection staff ensure businesses meet their statutory fire safety obligations, through site visits, engagement and, where necessary, enforcement.

Finance and Procurement is responsible for the payment of our staff, payment of supplier invoices, the operation of the main Stores, assisting in the purchasing of goods and services, and the production of statutory information including the Statement of Accounts. 

Fleet and Engineering design, purchase, maintain and repair the fleet of emergency appliances, vehicles and equipment and provide a 24-hour emergency call out service to ensure the continued availability of frontline fire appliances and equipment to respond to incidents. 

Technical Operations ensure the Health and Safety of firefighters through the development, and adoption of operational policies and procedures, including National Operational Guidance, Joint Organisational Learning and Fire Standards.

Our Finances

The majority of funding for the Fire and Rescue Service is received by way of a levy from the six constituent authorities, within North Wales, in proportion to population for each authority. The population for each local authority is set by the Welsh Governments Distribution Sub-Group on an annual basis. In addition, funding is also received from the Welsh Government by way of grants. The value of the grants has reduced significantly in recent years.

For the current financial year, 2024-25, the Authority has a revenue budget of

£48.322m and a capital programme of 5.67m.

The medium-term resource strategy has also been approved by the Fire and Rescue Authority, which includes a 10-year capital plan. You can read more here.

Our funding (£m)

2020-21 - £35.9

2021-22 - £37.1

2022-23 - £39.4

2023-24 - £44.4

2024-25 - £48.3

What we spent it on 2022-2023

(2023-24 figures will be published following Fire and Rescue Authority approval of the Authorities’ Statement of Accounts).

People - £30.35m

Premises - £2.99m

Transport - £1.25m

Supplies and Services - £4.95m

Capital Finances - £2.42m

Income* - £2.94m

*Predominantly Welsh Government grants

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