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Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

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Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service
Operational area
CountryEngland
CountyDorset and Wiltshire
AddressFive Rivers Health & Wellbeing Centre, Hulse Road, Salisbury, SP1 3NR
Agency overview
Established1 April 2016 (1 April 2016)
Annual budget£54.8 million (2016)
Fire chiefBen Ansell
Motto"passionate about changing and saving lives"
Facilities and equipment
Stations50
Website
www.dwfire.org.uk Edit this at Wikidata

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is a statutory emergency fire and rescue service covering the local authority areas of Wiltshire, Swindon, Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in England.[1]

The service was created on 1 April 2016 by the merger of Dorset Fire and Rescue Service and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.[1] Its headquarters is at Salisbury, Wiltshire, some 10 miles (16 km) from the Dorset county boundary. The former headquarters at Poundbury, Dorset, and Potterne, Wiltshire, are retained as area offices;[2] emergency calls for the combined area have been answered by the Service Control Centre since August 2015.[3]

Provision of the service is by the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority, which has 18 elected members from all four constituent councils.[4]

In September 2016, Ben Ansell was appointed as the service's second chief fire officer, succeeding Darran Gunter with effect from December 2016.[5]

Stations

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The service has 50 fire stations covering its area: six in the Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole council areas, 20 in the rest of Dorset, three in Swindon, and 21 in the rest of Wiltshire.[6]

The service uses a variety of duty systems including wholetime firefighters, retained firefighters (on-call), and day-crewed 08:30–18:30 Monday to Friday. Some stations also have fire service co-responders, supporting the work of South Western Ambulance Service.

Other facilities include:

  • Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters, Salisbury
  • Devizes Training Centre
  • West Moors Training Centre
  • Support offices in Poundbury (behind the fire station)
  • Equipment & fleet workshops in Charminster
  • Equipment workshop in Trowbridge (behind the fire station)
  • Fleet workshop in Bowerhill, Melksham

Performance

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Every fire and rescue service in England and Wales is subjected periodically to a statutory inspection by His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). The inspection investigates how well the service performs in each of three areas. On a scale of outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has been rated as follows:

HMICFRS Inspection Dorset & Wiltshire
Area Rating 2018/19[7] Rating 2021/22[8] Description
Effectiveness Good Good How effective is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks?
Efficiency Good Outstanding How efficient is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks?
People Good Good How well does the fire and rescue service look after its people?

Allegations

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In January 2023, shortly after its latest HMICFRS inspection, ITV News made allegations against the service.[9] It was alleged that some firefighters had taken candid pictures of dead female road traffic incident victims and shared them on a private WhatsApp group, where demeaning comments were made, including some about the dead women's underwear.[10] As a result of the allegations, the service reported itself to Dorset Police.[11] A thorough investigation was carried out but no evidence was found to support the allegations.[12]

In addition, ITN made claims of sexist behaviour by male officers and firefighters against a number of female firefighters. In February 2023, the service revealed that in May 2022, before the ITV News investigation, the service's assistant chief fire officer was investigated for sexual misconduct by its disciplinary committee.[13] However, he retired before being subject to summary dismissal for gross misconduct.[14][15] The chief fire officer commissioned an independent review of the service culture, which was published in October 2023.[16]

See also

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References

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  1. ^ a b "Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service: Your Fire and Rescue Service". dwfire.org.uk. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  2. ^ Phillips, Alison (30 March 2016). "Wiltshire Fire Service flag lowered for last time". Wiltshire Gazette and Herald. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  3. ^ Moore, Joanne (9 September 2015). "New joint control centre for Wiltshire and Dorset fire services opens". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Authority Members". Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  5. ^ Moore, Joanne (15 September 2016). "Service names new fire chief". Gazette and Herald. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Fire stations". Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Dorset & Wiltshire 2018/19". Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). 20 June 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  8. ^ "Dorset & Wiltshire 2021/22". His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). 20 January 2023. Retrieved 28 March 2023.
  9. ^ Brand, Paul (31 January 2023). "Police investigate claims firefighters took photographs of women who died in car accidents". ITV News. Retrieved 28 March 2023.
  10. ^ Middleton, Joe (31 January 2023). "Dorset and Wiltshire firefighters 'photographed female crash victims'". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 March 2023.
  11. ^ Lewis, Jason (1 February 2023). "Dorset Police on allegations over conduct of firefighters". Dorset Echo. Retrieved 28 March 2023.
  12. ^ "Joint statement from Dorset Police and Wiltshire Police". www.dwfire.org.uk. Retrieved 19 October 2023.
  13. ^ Brand, Paul (14 February 2023). "Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Chief's right-hand man sexually harassed women and retired on full pension". ITV News. Retrieved 28 March 2023.
  14. ^ "Statement following latest ITN report". Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service. 9 February 2023. Retrieved 28 March 2023.
  15. ^ Hughes, Janson (9 February 2023). "Dorset and Wiltshire fire officer escapes sexual harassment punishment". The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald. Retrieved 28 March 2023.
  16. ^ "Independent Review". www.dwfire.org.uk. Retrieved 19 October 2023.
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