Page 19 - Hot_News_March_2016
P. 19

THE FINAL WORD
flooding events which devastated large parts of the north of England.
Turning to the floods that inundated large parts of the north of England this winter, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude and respect to all of the Firefighters and support staff who contributed so much to our rescue efforts in desperate circumstances for the residents of affected areas. Without the support of Fire and Rescue Services working together I have no doubt that the situation would have been far worse. I’m sure you will join with me in wishing those communities affected a quick recovery.
Along with the Deputy Chief Fire Officer I have been delivering Principal Officer Briefings to uniformed and support staff to explain the range of options open to us to meet the further significant cuts to our budget arising from the Local Government Finance Settlement. Delivering these latest savings isn’t going to be easy, but yet again we must adapt to minimise as much as we can the impact on our operational response capability. Your feedback during this process is greatly appreciated and valued.
It is with mixed emotions we bid farewell to our 2015 Apprentices, who go on to a new chapter as many of them move on. They have made a great contribution and by all accounts had a very rewarding experience within our Service. A finer group of young people you could not hope to meet. I am sure you will join me in wishing them well for what will undoubtedly be bright futures for them all. After the success of the apprentice programme we have recruited a new group of young apprentices who I have no doubt will make a similarly valuable contribution to the Service and their own character.
It gave me great pleasure recently to be able to present Long Service and Good Conduct Medals to some of our officers who have served for 20 years or more. These officers have help build Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service into what it is today and deserve due credit for their commitment to their duties. They are a credit to us all.
We continue to receive wide support from the communities we serve, despite some very testing times for the Service. This year will no doubt bring challenges which the Service will face with a commitment to professionalism and to the people we serve- as we always have, and always will.
Dan Stephens
Chief Fire Officer
The Service continues to face significant challenges ahead, but within this edition of the Final Word there are some excellent examples of how we are working together in difficult times to continue to deliver a highly professional and vital service.
Fire and Rescue Authorities across England were informed in January that responsibility for Fire and Rescue policy was to be transferred from the Department for Communities and Local Government to the Home Office, with immediate effect.
A letter from Home Secretary, Theresa May, outlined the changes, which were made in a written statement from the Prime Minister to Parliament on 5 January.
Mike Penning, a former Firefighter, is the new Fire Minister in addition to his current responsibilities for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims.
In her statement, the Home Secretary praised the successes of Fire and Rescue Services in fire prevention over recent years and suggested that Fire and Police Services can learn a lot from each other. She went on to thank those at the frontline of the response to the recent widespread flooding, during which Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service played a significant role. For our part we will continue to lobby for the Service to receive the same protection from cuts that Police Services have received during this parliament. This is particularly relevant given the significant role the Service played during recent
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