Published 12 December 2023

NFCC statement on government response to Fire Reform White Paper

Responding to the government’s consultation response to the Fire Reform White Paper, Mark Hardingham, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) said:

“We welcome the response to the white paper consultation which sets out the headline plans for long-awaited investment and reform to support continued improvement of fire and rescue services.

“Fire and rescue services are made up of dedicated, professional public servants who go above and beyond every day to keep people safe, whether that be in firefighting roles, 999 control operators, prevention and protection services or the wider roles they play in supporting staff and protecting local communities – and it is right that they have the full support of government.

“We welcome the announcement that there will be a statutory code of ethics – something that builds upon the work of NFCC and fire and rescue services to improve organisational culture and workforce diversity, in part through the existing national Core Code of Ethics for Fire and Rescue Services.

“We also welcome the decision to give operational independence for Chief Fire Officers, clarifying the responsibilities of Fire and Rescue Authorities with those of Chief Fire Officers.

“We are clear that reform in the areas of the white paper, alongside other areas of improvement in fire and rescue services, requires long-term investment. We will continue to work with government and other national functions to make sure that fire and rescue services, and their supporting national functions, are properly resourced to respond to the areas of reform.

“Fire and rescue services must be prepared and equipped to deal with current and future challenges, in all their forms. Our aim will always be to meet the continued expectations and high levels of trust and confidence that the public has in their fire and rescue service”.