Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue could start charging businesses for call-outs to false alarms, as part of radical proposals to change the way in which the service operates.
The proposals, which were unveiled this afternoon (March 1), include a seven-point summary of proposed changes, which are now subject to an 11 week public consultation running until May 16.
One of the seven key proposals is titled ‘Introduce a cost recovery process for attendance to unwanted fire signals’, and refers to commercial premises with automatic fire alarms which repeatedly call the fire service out on false calls.
The summary states: “With an increase in the installation of automatic fire alarm and detection systems in commercial premises, there has also been an increase in the number of false alarms. Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue has been taking steps to address this for many years which has helped to reduce the number of false alarms attended.
“However, the figure remains relatively high and has started to rise again. We recognise that most businesses take the management of their premises seriously. It is those which impose a significant burden on the fire service through repeated false alarms that this proposal aims to deter.”
Another key proposal is to reduce the number of Rescue Support Units (RSUs) in Lincolnshire, from two down to one. These units are mobilised to provide additional support for complex incidents including breathing apparatus, chemical decontamination and road traffic collisions - but the proposal suggests that only one RSU is now required in the Service, given the fact that some of the specialist equipment is now available on frontline fire engines.
A further proposal involves developing the Joint Ambulance Conveyance Project (JACP) alongside their partners at East Midlands Ambulance Service and LIVES. Following a successful 12 month pilot of the project, it is proposed that the JACP continues to operate from the three existing locations and expand to five other fire stations around the county.
Nick Borrill, Acting Chief Fire Officer for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “We are keen to hear the views of local residents on our proposals for 2016/17 and would encourage as many people as possible to complete the feedback form which is available on our website.
“A hard-copy can also be obtained by calling 01522 582222. All feedback will be considered in due course before any final decisions are made on the proposals.”
The public consultation will run from today (March 1) until May 16. Public information events will be held in Lincoln, Grantham and Skegness next month.
• To have your say on the proposals or find out more, complete the feedback form at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lfr.