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Shapping the future of your fire and rescue service


North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging the public to become more involved in helping to shape its future.

It is keen to hear people's views on two key issues that could potentially affect the ability to provide a high quality fire and rescue service in years to come.

The fire and rescue service continually reviews and improves the service it provides and as part of this process is launching a public consultation on its long term strategy this week - asking those who rely on its services to voice their opinions on the key issues identified.

The two main priorities up for discussion were identified for 2012-13 and will continue into 2013-14:

1. To help to keep people and communities safe by preventing deaths and injuries from accidental fires in living accommodation.

This will include adopting a new all-Wales Dwelling Fire Response Charter that makes seven fundamental commitments to Welsh residents.

2. To find ways of reducing the overall cost of running the Service each year in order to operate within the annual budget.

In the second year of a three-year budget freeze, the Authority will be looking for innovative ways of reducing costs without affecting services.

As for 2014-15, the Authority is asking people to join in taking a longer term view and send in their ideas about what the Authority should be considering when it drafts its future improvement objectives and financial strategy.

If you had to choose, would you keep your nearest fire station open but accept that there may be times when it is not available; or would you opt for a fire station further away but which is always available?

Chief Fire Officer Simon Smith explains; "Today's fire and rescue service delivers a far more sophisticated range of services than just responding to emergencies. At the same time, there is a particular emphasis on public services working together effectively to build strong communities - so more people than just those who have had fires will be interested in what the fire and rescue service does.

"The recent months have not been easy for many in the face of current economic pressures. Our main priority is to achieve the required savings without compromising the levels of service we have provided in the past. Is it not an easy task and we continue to investigate ways of achieving our targets.

"The questions we are asking as part of this consultation are therefore to do with the strategic direction of the service as a whole and how to ensure we provide the best service possible with the money we have available to us.

"The more people get involved, the better our prospects of achieving the right balance of services we provide. The more opinions we receive, the more we can be confident that the detailed action plans we develop, will deliver exactly what the people of North Wales want."

The public can find out more about getting involved by logging on to the website - completed questionnaires must be forwarded by the deadline on 7th January 2013.

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