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What are everyone’s thoughts? Do you think the service may go down this route in the next decade or 2? Capita already have the MOD Frs. 

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I personally don’t think so, however that said companies like Falck successfully run the Fire service for Denmark, plus other sites in the UK( industrial/Airports).

From what I hear about Crapita regarding the MOD, all the new vehicles they have brought in have been falling apart and still not on the run at most places, and in my opinion the MOD saved them by giving them the contract as the Fire Service College isn’t used that much today ( for basic training) and more and more brigades have set up their own training school facilities.

Again that said it all comes down to cost, what I can see is brigades merging eventually (yes this has been talked about for years), but I think after seeing what Scottish FRS have done then areas in England and Wales  will follow eventually, after all the ambulance services already do, NEAS,EMAS etc.

Never say ever I guess but think the outroar would be too much.

What do you think?

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Falcks relationship with fire in Denmark goes all the way back to the 20s when internationally the modern Fire Service was developing out of insurance company based schemes into the public realm. So I don't think that's a menacing spectre for us. 

The MoD covers a large estate, with already loads of contractorisation. Just as I left the MoD there were already a few sites that were basically on the payroll of Serco, as they did the facilities management, but with DFRS vehicles, livery and chain of command. You would have visits from your Station Manager/ Group Commander one day, and then your corporate representative the next. It was all a bit confusing so the MoD thought it would be better value for money to privatize the whole thing. 

I don't think it scales for Local Authority. Bear in mind the majority of MoD establishmenslts were flying sites, they wanted to close Manston and there was already loads of knowhow and infrastructure with Serco and Capita hence the tender. 

The MoD can act as a customer. It's a public body but can choose who it pays for what services. 

Our "customers" are the public who have no choice, they have to pay their council tax. There is currently more accountability in fire authorities (at least on paper) than a corporate board. 

Plus the weight of public opinion means it would go down like a bucket of sick. 

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Your final point makes alot of sense OT, just look at the collapse of Carillion in 2018 that left a hospital half finished in Birmingham ( might be open next summer ), thats already a sector that provides critical service. The locals arent happy, theyve even taken to placing 1 star reviews on google maps! I doubt any public service could hide being privatised, especially when your council tax bill goes up yet the station down the road has been closed “as a cost saving measure”

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Privatisation is already here for goodness sake. Leased fire appliances, equipment, PPE, buildings........ in some F&RS it's only really the staff that is left to transfer to Crapita or one of the other big firms.

I don't think public opinion is anything to rely upon. Many of the services my local authority run and services at my local NHS hospital are already privatised - so what makes the fire service special?  I just hope when it comes, its handled better than the MoD fiasco

Crapita's involvement with the MoD has not been well handled. To allow them to influence their own IRMPs is ridiculous. How can they decide the level of cover? This should be down to DFRMO to decide/dictate. As a result of this anomaly, many flying stations have had the hours of fire cover reduced. I was involved in discussions about one site where during a difficult meeting, it became apparent that the hit squad tasked with forcing through cuts had no idea of the critical significance of some of the military hardware based there.

Training is already privatised in London and perhaps fire safety enforcement may be next to go. The LFB are struggling to get fire safety competent staff from outside as the pay isn't great and pension abatement rules were putting off those who had retired. This was such an issue, the LFB have had special permission to ignore abatement rules to man a post Grenfell fire safety team with retired staff .... like a LFB version of BBC's New Tricks 🙄

Full privatisation is coming ....... its just when rather than if :(

  • Agree 3
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Don't rely on public support.

During the Thatcher years, one brigade looked at closing a fire station and the public kickback was that it couldn't be closed because the station was the only county funded facility in the town.  So they built a small swimming pool and closed the station.

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Some good points made, there is a every possibility we might be employed by Capita in the next 5 years. I wonder what would happen with the pensions though.

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Capita was too big to be allowed to fall,it would showed up PFI, etc for what it is ,embarassing for HMG.

If MOD cover had stood still they would still have made money on it.

Retired LAFS are applying ideas that have no bearing on how HMAF and DFRMO worked (well)together.

Passive fire systems that were going to enable fire crew cuts will not be in place due to costs,its an accident waiting to happen and may well have major impact on the nations defence and/or staff safety.

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