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Fedster

Firefighters trained as specials in 'worrying' national first

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Fedster

Federation claims the scheme will cost £200,000 and could be better spent elsewhere.

Firefighters trained as specials in 'worrying' national first

 

Date - 11th February 2019
By - Hermione Wright
7 Comments7 Comments}

 

Plans to train firefighters to respond as police officers have been branded “worrying” and “gimmicky” by a local police federation.

The hybrid role, which the Fed claims will cost £200,000, will see seven Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service firefighters trained to have the same powers as special constables.

The move, which intends to speed up response times in rural areas, will mean the crew, known as Community Responders, will be responsible for reacting to both fire and police incidents.

Andrew Berry, Chairman of the Devon & Cornwall Police Federation, has criticised the plans introduced by PCC Alison Hernandez, saying he has “serious concerns” about how it will operate.

He questioned the cost benefits and the “wider ramifications” for Federation members who will inevitably have to train and support the new police staff.

Inspector Berry claims the money could be better spent in other areas, such as investing in existing neighbourhood and response policing teams, or recruiting detectives – especially when, he says, the force is currently 50 short.

He said: “I am also worried about the position these new officers would be put in if faced with a situation involving competing demands which both required an emergency response – one fire, one policing – how would that officer decide which was more pressing than the other?

“The role of a police officer and a firefighter – while equally important – are very different from one another. This scheme is splicing the two roles into one creating a hybrid in an attempt to be all things to all people.”

Despite concerns, Ms Hernandez says she is “incredibly pleased” to support the collaboration, and looks forward to seeing “the benefits that our communities will reap from this innovative work”.

She added: “We don’t know what future funding will look like for any of our emergency services and working together on unique projects like this will improve the service both organisations can deliver to people in Devon.”

Jeff Harding, Group Manager of Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, said the service provided to people living in the affected towns will be “enhanced” as the Community Responders will be able to “provide visibility and advice” to the public across both roles.

The project has already been funded for two years, with the possibility of being extend further.

The seven responders, expected to be in place by the spring, will be based in Newton Abbot, Totnes, Cullompton, Crediton, Dartmouth, Okehampton and Honiton. The locations have been selected based on "risk, vulnerability and harm".

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Funkywingnut

Ha ha ha ha, what a comic they are. 

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Zulu 22

Anything to try and improve the Police instead of admit to gross underfunding.

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Chief Cheetah
38 minutes ago, Fedster said:

The hybrid role, which the Fed claims will cost £200,000, will see seven Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service firefighters trained to have the same powers as special constables.

 

The same powers as Special Constables but not the same powers as regular constables?

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Cathedral Bobby

Although I don't agree with this development, many western countries US, Canada, Australia have similar arrangements in rural areas and I suspect as services come together to make savings, such as joint control and HMI/PCCs oversee police and fire services they will look to synergize services more and more.

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Funkywingnut
27 minutes ago, Cathedral Bobby said:

Although I don't agree with this development, many western countries US, Canada, Australia have similar arrangements in rural areas and I suspect as services come together to make savings, such as joint control and HMI/PCCs oversee police and fire services they will look to synergize services more and more.

Fire and Ambulance maybe, but add police into the mix and that would be difficult. 

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Zulu 22
2 hours ago, Cathedral Bobby said:

Although I don't agree with this development, many western countries US, Canada, Australia have similar arrangements in rural areas and I suspect as services come together to make savings, such as joint control and HMI/PCCs oversee police and fire services they will look to synergize services more and more.

In those countries mentioned the area that they can be covering is thousands of square miles. One reason why in Australia they have the Flying Doctor Service. 

Paramedics are now getting very highly qualified in treating people with life threatening injuries at the scene. The Fire Service can wait days for a call but after attending may be remaining at the scene for several days also. 

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Radman

Fire and ambulance is a much better fit for any merger of role considering it has been tested the world over and works well. 

This does seem gimmicky. 

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Mac7
Although I don't agree with this development, many western countries US, Canada, Australia have similar arrangements in rural areas and I suspect as services come together to make savings, such as joint control and HMI/PCCs oversee police and fire services they will look to synergize services more and more.



That system probably has more to do with land mass than anything else.

I’ve long thought that fire fighters should have a dual fire and paramedic role. This just seems crazy.

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TheMoo
2 hours ago, Chief Cheetah said:

The same powers as Special Constables but not the same powers as regular constables?

Special Constables don't get Force Choke, and Force Lightning is only available with DLC. 

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Indiana Jones

Will they kit up differently when they are called out? Or will they have both types of kit with them at all times?

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Chief Cheetah
1 hour ago, TheMoo said:

Special Constables don't get Force Choke, and Force Lightning is only available with DLC. 

I have no idea what any of these are or what they mean.  Are they powers specific to a regular constable or is it just training in a specific technique/equipment?

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Cathedral Bobby

I agree with many of your comments and in other countries geography will have a lot to play in it, but it provides a model for PCCs to look at. If fire services, which are coming under the auspices of PCCs, are viewed as an available resource, I am sorry to say this will happen more and more. On the operational level we might not see how this fits well, but strategically, bringing together resources and budgets will make more sense to a PCC. There are already plans for training fire officers as paramedics, but the difference is that the NHS is not controlled by the PCCs, whereas some fire services are. Strategically the HM inspection services for policing and fire services have been joined together. Similarly this has happened with HMP and probation, customs and immigration. There are plans afoot for this, if it works, to be rolled out wider. 

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Beaker
I have no idea what any of these are or what they mean.  Are they powers specific to a regular constable or is it just training in a specific technique/equipment?
We don't get the training courses, Zulu managed to successfully campaign to stop up even getting Force Jump.
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Zulu 22

As the PCC'S are inter empire building,  anything could happen even though it is completely impractical

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