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Oxfordshire firefighters celebrate Thames Valley collaboration

06 December 2021

FIREFIGHTERS IN Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire recently gathered at Blenheim Palace to showcase their ongoing collaborative partnership which is delivering increased efficiencies and effectiveness for residents right across the Thames Valley region.

On show in front of the Great Court were new Volvo fire engines – shared between the three Fire and Rescue Services to ensure maximum flexibility and reduced response times – and an aerial ladder platform. Crews in attendance also proudly showed the latest forms of personal protective equipment.

Further, electric vehicles purchased by Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service in a drive towards lower carbon emissions were on display.

Councillor Glynis Phillips, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, enthused: “I’m proud to be part of the celebrations of this joint working across Thames Valley’s Fire and Rescue Services teams. These Fire and Rescue Services not only conduct outstanding work in keeping us safe, but are also working collaboratively in order to realise efficiencies and become even more cost-effective.”

One of the collaboration’s successes has been opening the Thames Valley Fire Control Service. The highly effective joint Control Room serving the three Fire and Rescue Services marked its sixth anniversary in July this year.

The joint Control Room replaced Fire and Rescue Service Control Rooms in Aylesbury, Kidlington and Reading and is now responsible for answering over 200,000 calls from an area populated by some 2.3 million residents.

There are further projects in progress and orchestrated to make savings of over £1.2 million per year for the three Fire and Rescue Services, at the same time ensuring crews remain efficient in their prompt responses to emergencies.

Rob MacDougall, Chief Fire Officer for Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service, concluded: “This is a great example of where the collaboration work to which we are all firmly committed is delivering key benefits and improved effectiveness to all of the communities we serve in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Royal Berkshire.”