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FIRE MINISTER EXAMINES RESILIENCE WORK OF FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

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GOVERNMENT COMMITS£200M TO FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES...
GOVERNMENT COMMITS£200M TO FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES

On her visit, Angela Smith was shown parts of the New Dimension Programme, designed to enable fire and rescue services to provide an effective response to large-scale incidents. In particular, it will help provide a better response to chemical, biological or radioactive attacks, collapsed structures, flooding, and natural disasters.

Fire minister Angela Smith today visited Milton Keynes and Aylesbury to observe at first-hand the ever-developing resilience work of Buckinghamshire's Fire and Rescue Service and view elements of the New Dimension Programme, part of the government's investment of over£200m in equipment and training, and up to£16m per year on crewing.

On her visit, Angela Smith was shown parts of the New Dimension Programme, designed to enable fire and rescue services to provide an effective response to large-scale incidents. In particular, it will help provide a better response to chemical, biological or radioactive attacks, collapsed structures, flooding, and natural disasters.

Ms Smith also visited the Safety Centre in Milton Keynes to look around its state of the art facilities and hear how the centre is helping give local school children a better understanding of the work of the Fire and Rescue Service. The centre offers 14 interactive themes targeted at 7-12 year olds to help them learn about the challenging situations that fire and rescue teams deal with. The centre is the model of best practice for the UK and will be open to 20,000 schoolchildren next year.

During her time at Aylesbury Fire Station, Ms Smith observed a controlled road traffic collision and a demonstration of the New Dimension equipment in one of its many uses.

'I am very pleased to have the opportunity to see for myself the progress Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is making on key areas of modernisation. As they have so ably demonstrated today, they now have improved resilience capability to cope with major incidents.

'In addition, they are developing imaginative new ways to work with partners in the community to make Buckinghamshire a safer and better place in which to live and work. One such project, the Safety Centre at Milton Keynes, has become a model for fire and rescue authorities across the country.'

Damian Smith, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's Chief Fire Officer, said:

'We are honoured that the minister has taken time out of her busy schedule to visit us and welcomed the opportunity to show her what we have achieved so far in terms of community safety initiatives and the modernisation of our services, as well as discussing what we hope to do in the future.'

Notes

1. The New Dimension Partnership is working in partnership with the Chief Fire Officers' Association to develop and deploy permanent capability to the fire and rescue service.

2. The government has invested over£200m in equipment and training for the fire and rescue service, plus up to£16m per yearfor crewing. This equipment is being deployed against a national risk assessment.

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