CLOSER working relationships between the emergency services are being formed with Corringham Fire Station being the second fire station in Essex this year to be used as a ‘co-use’ base.
The on-call station is being used as a drop in location for police officers in Thurrock when they are deployed to the area on duty. It means the officers will be able to spend more time in the area and be more visible to their communities.
Manningtree Fire Station is also currently being used as a ‘co-use’ base. Using the stations in this way is being evaluated for feedback before other potential ‘co-use’ bases are identified.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “This is a great example of collaboration in action – fire and police working together to make communities feel safer, using our resources in the most efficient way.”
Initial feedback from both emergency services has been positive. Essex Police has found it helpful to have a base in both areas especially when running local operations and whilst they are on duty in the area so they can be more visible in local communities. Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has not been inconvenienced and firefighters say it is useful to share knowledge and form better relationships with other blue light colleagues.
Jo Turton, Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As part of our commitment to working together, we are exploring which fire stations in our county could be suitable for our Essex Police colleagues to use when they are on duty.
“These arrangements give us an opportunity to work closer together, to understand what each service does, build relationships and provide a comfortable space for colleagues to use.”
Essex Police’s Chief Supt Carl O’Malley, who leads the Emergency Services Collaboration Team, said: “This project forms part of our commitment to work closely with colleagues at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) to use resources in the most effective way to provide the best possible service to the people of Essex.
“The fire stations provide a drop-in location for officers to give them a place from which to work and take comfort breaks. They will not be based at the fire stations but will be able to make use of them as and when they are working in the area.
“It will also give the team the chance to work closely with ECFRS, understanding what each service does and build relationships.”
Tony Clark, South West Group Manager for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Sharing our facilities with Essex Police provides our crews with the opportunity to work more closely when attending incidents and to understand each other’s roles more clearly. Having good working relationships with our police colleagues is vital in delivering a first class service to the public of Essex and sharing work places enables this whilst providing value to the tax payer.”
The fire stations are not accessible to the public and if people need to contact Essex Police they should do so in the usual way, either via 101 or via https://www.essex.police.uk/do-it-online/