Recent flooding has once again shown how important it is for Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service to work closely with other services and the voluntary sector. This type of support means fire services have the ability to rapidly increase capacity during large scale incidents. Resilience can only be achieved by having robust national mutual aid arrangements.
Through Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall, who chairs the National Resilience Board, Gloucestershire is at the forefront of developing and implementing this sort of arrangement. The Strategic Holding Area at Strensham, during the floods in November, was rewed by staff from GFRS in conjunction with Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) National Resilience officers. This served fire services across the South West.
By leading on this agenda, Gloucestershire has been instrumental in creating the new National Framework for Fire & Rescue Services and continues to manage the arrangements that make it possible.
The new community fire station at Gloucester South hosted a National Resilience Capabilities Day on Thursday. The venue was chosen due to the superb facilities it offers. It played host to senior members of government, local authorities, fire authorities and other 'blue light services' with the principle guest being the new Fire Minister, Brandon Lewis.