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As a Service we have faced a number of significant challenges this year with many more to come. As ever you have faced those challenges with consistent high standards of professionalism and I would like to thank you all for the outstanding contribution you have made towards keeping Merseyside safe.
I am very proud of the work you all do every day. Despite all of the cuts to our budget we still deliver an outstanding Fire and Rescue Service, from operational response, our prevention and protection work to help to make communities safer as well as all the work undertaken by staff in our headquarters and Fire Control. Each of you makes a real difference and your contribution and hard work does not go unnoticed.
It would be remiss of me not to highlight some of the fantastic work that has been undertaken this year.
In September this year the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP) final exercise Joint Endeavour held at the Training and Development Academy showed our excellent operational response and the wide-ranging skill levels of Merseyside firefighters. There have also
been many superb rescues undertaken by firefighters throughout the year, some of which have been covered in Hot News.
We have supported all of the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) safety weeks including Ageing Safely Week in October and Business Safety Week in December. A lot of hard work also went into the planning and prevention work for the Bonfire period which undoubtedly made a huge positive difference to our communities.
We have seen the publication of an Equality and Diversity Annual Report, which sets out some of the good work ongoing in the Service in this area. The Service’s approach to Positive Action has also received praise this year, more on that particular success can be found in this edition of Hot News.
Our operational response times are still very fast with the average attendance times for the first fire appliance on scene at incidents in Merseyside only a second slower than 2012/13. An Authority report in October on the Service’s operational response performance of fire appliances against the 10- minute response target showed the average response time was 5 minutes 24 seconds in the financial year 2013/14, compared with 5 minutes, 23 seconds in 2012/2013. As well as very efficient call-handling by Fire Control, we, as a Service, robustly manage our response times and, in particular, our “alert to mobile” times which can make a difference to the overall time it takes us to respond from receiving the call to booking in attendance.
December sees the official opening of the Joint Command Centre (JCC) at Bridle Road after our Fire Control moved from their old home of Derby Road earlier this year. The centre has some excellent facilities including dedicated Strategic and Tactical Coordination Group meeting rooms for use during major incidents, and will undoubtedly be a real asset to us and Merseyside Police in the future.
In closing, I would like to wish you and your families a very safe and happy Christmas and all the very best for the New Year
Dan Stephens
Chief Fire Officer

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