In 2015, the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service formed a partnership with the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service to preserve capacity to cover fire, road traffic incident and prevention duties, and save money. In 2012, the Isle of Wight’s fire control also merged with Surrey and both fire brigades’ call-outs are co-ordinated from a centre in Reigate.
The service has ten stations. In 2014/15, it attended 1,226 incidents including 190 property fires, chimney and vehicle fires, 139 small fires and 64 road traffic collisions.
While providing the capacity to respond to foreseeable fire and emergency incidents across the island is a statutory requirement and to many, the main purpose of a fire and rescue service, its role is much broader than simply putting out fires. Responding to emergencies is reactive, and while the service must be able to provide this response extremely well, it also carries out work to try to reduce the need for a response in the first instance.
The Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service works closely with council services including community wellbeing and social care, and children and young people services, as well as partner agencies including the police, Isle of Wight Primary Care Trust to collectively deliver local initiatives and agreements.
For over 160 years, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has independently assessed and reported on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces and policing, in the public interest.
In summer 2017, HMIC (now HMICFRS) took on inspections of England’s fire & rescue services, assessing and reporting on their efficiency, effectiveness and leadership.