DORSET Fire and Rescue Service has launched a public consultation to consider its future options – one of which involves merging with Wiltshire and Swindon Fire Authority.
County fire chief Darran Gunter, who says DFRS faces a “challenging financial future”, insists the protection of frontline services is a priority.
Local residents are being urged to have their say on three main scenarios, while a parallel consultation is held in Wiltshire during the same period.
The three scenarios are: n Dorset Fire Authority and its fire and rescue service stay independent and increase collaboration with Bournemouth Borough Council, Dorset County Council, and the Borough of Poole; n Dorset Fire Authority and its fire and rescue service stay independent and increase collaboration with Wiltshire and Swindon Fire Authority, while also collaborating with Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole councils; n Dorset Fire Authority and its fire and rescue service merge with Wiltshire Fire Authority to create a single Combined Fire Authority and fire and rescue service, while also collaborating with Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole councils.
Residents are able to complete an online questionnaire and access information through the DFRS website. In addition, a random selection of 12,000 households across Dorset and Wiltshire will receive the questionnaire directly.
Mr Gunter said: “We want to explore every possibility to transform our service but also help protect our essential frontline activities. We have a number of options.”
The consultation deadline is October 20.
Visit dorsetfire.gov.uk for details.