Surrey Fire Service Transformation

We have been receiving a lot of correspondence about the consultation and transformation of Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

Let me first make it clear these changes are not being led by politicians or officers sitting in County Hall, this transformation has been designed and led by senior fire officers with years of experience and supported by the National Fire Chiefs Council.

The only decisions we have made in respect of SFRS after being presented with a business case by the new senior officers last summer were:

  1. To remove all savings targets from the service for the next two years and allow them to transform SFRS to a modern service fit for the future.
  2. Although we have some of the best equipped fire engines in the south some of the fleet was getting old, so we set up a rolling programme to replace the oldest pumps and the first four have already been delivered.
  3. The front-line service was very reliant on overtime and was not sustainable. So, we agreed to a new recruitment process and there are almost 50 new fire fighters either on duty or in training and we are still recruiting.

Many of the recommendations that we made in the recent inspection report of SFRS had already been addressed by the new leadership team and changes were already being implemented. One key area the inspection report mentioned was that we needed to improve the use of our resources and have a greater focus on fire prevention and this work is also a keen aim of the transformation process.

The current transformation process has no savings target
we are not closing any fire stations

  • Some Key facts
    • The key aim of a fire fighter is to save lives and buildings are secondary.
    • ¾ of all people that have died in house fires in the last five years either lived alone or were vulnerable. The way to save these lives is prevention.
    • The main factor that saves lives in this group is early awareness of a fire and then an escape plan once the fire has been detected.
    • Under the transformation, welfare visits will increase in the first year from 2500 to 10,000
    • The average amount of calls the service respond to across Surrey per week peaks during the day at 226 and drops during the night to 26.
    • Using nationally recognised criteria, the minimum number of pumps required across Surrey is 20 during the day and 16 at night. Under the transformation we will have 25 during the day and 23 at night. This will increase to 30 during the day at weekends when we will carry out most of the welfare visits.
    • Our safety plan for arrival of the first pump at any incident is 10 minutes the average across Surrey is currently under 8 minutes and it will still be under 8 minutes.
    • This transformation work is supported by the National Fire Chiefs Council

Decisions made by experts to deliver a modern fire service for Surrey’s residents

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