Minister outlines plans for NI fire service

Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Angela Smith has said she intends to publish plans outlining a new future for Northern Ireland's fire service later this year.

The Minister announced her plans during a visit to the Northern Ireland Fire Brigade Training Centre in Belfast today.

Speaking during her visit, she said: "Now that the recent pay dispute has been settled, it is time to look to modernising fire and rescue services to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. Later this year, I intend to publish a public consultation paper outlining a vision for the future development of fire and rescue services in Northern Ireland.”

On her meeting with the Authority Chairman, Bill Gillespie and the new Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive, Colin Lammey during Wednesday's visit, she said: “I had a useful discussion with the Chairman and Chief Fire Officer on the future of fire and rescue services in Northern Ireland. Fire services across the UK are embarking on a major programme of change on how fire and rescue services are organised and delivered, and the Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive will have a prime responsibility to bring those changes about in Northern Ireland."

The Minister also said that the recently published Quinquennial Review Stage Two Report, which made recommendations to the way in which the Fire Authority operates, was another important step towards change for the future of the Northern Ireland Fire Service.


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