Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service - Shaping Our Future 2017

Potentially far-reaching and fundamental changes that have been and are being implemented across the emergency sector mean Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) needs to continue looking at new ways of working to ensure its resources are in the right place at the right time, within its financial constraints. 


Changes have already been made: by employing robust procurement processes, significantly reducing running costs, reducing department budgets and implementing many other initiatives, NFRS has reduced its spending by £13million over the last seven years. However, austerity measures continue, reinforcing the need to introduce more innovative preventative and operational response models that befit a modern, progressive fire and rescue service.          


In February 2016, the Sustainability Strategy 2020 report was delivered to, and approved by, the Fire Authority. This highlighted a number of proposals and strategies that could help NFRS better align its resources to its demands and deliver the savings it still needs to make. Two of these strategies are outlined below.



NFRS currently operates two fire cover systems.   


  • Wholetime Duty System (WDS): Fire engines crewed by wholetime firefighters who respond immediately to incidents and are available 24 hours day, 365 days a year. Wholetime fire engines are crewed by four or five firefighters.
  • Retained Duty System (RDS): Fire engines crewed by on-call firefighters, who respond to incidents when required. On-call firefighters must live or work within five minutes of their fire station and are summoned to the station by radio pager. Currently, ‘retained’ fire engines won’t be mobilised to incidents if there are less than four crew members available, resulting in another appliance being sent. 


The Fire Authority is proposing to introduce an additional fire cover system and increase the use of the RDS to support emergency incidents. This would realign resources against demand and enable NFRS to maintain a more appropriate fire cover now it is attending fewer incidents. 


Mixed Crewing System: Fire stations crewed by wholetime firefighters at periods of highest demand (in the day) and RDS firefighters at periods of lowest demand (at night). The Fire Authority is proposing to introduce this system at two of its 24 fire stations, and it is already in operation at a number of fire and rescue services across the country. 


Alternative Crewing System: Mobilising retained fire engines with crews of less than four firefighters to attend smaller, lower risk incident types (e.g. small bin or rubbish fires). This would improve the availability of retained fire engines throughout the county and would have a positive effect on attendance times.   


Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has appointed Opinion Research Services (ORS), an independent social research organisation, to survey your opinions about the draft proposals for the way our services are developed in the future. Your responses will be processed confidentially by ORS and no one will be identified in ORS’ independent report to Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire Authority. Where a response is given on behalf of an organisation it will be attributed to the organisation, not to the individual respondent.


If you have any questions about the survey in general please telephone 0115 967 0880 or email


In support of the consultation and information provided within the consultation survey, please find a link here to NFRS operational activity reports, which details information regarding incidents we attended, including the vehicles we sent, and how long we took to arrive.

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