Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service
|Established||1 April 2021|
|Employees||2,000 (2021) 85% firefighters, 15% support staff|
|Annual budget||£75,284,000 (20-21)|
|Chief Fire Officer||Neil Odin|
|EMS level||Basic life support|
|Facilities and equipment|
|Rescues||6 (3 Rescues, 1 Water Rescue and 2 Animal Rescues)|
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS) is the statutory fire and rescue service for the county of Hampshire, including the cities of Southampton and Portsmouth, and the Isle of Wight on the south coast of England. The service was formed on 1 April 2021 from the merger of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service. The service's chief fire officer is Neil Odin.
Hampshire Fire Service
Until the Second World War, local towns had their own fire services run by parish or rural borough councils. In 1941, these were combined into the National Fire Service with Hampshire being served by fire forces 14 and 16. The Fire Services Act 1947 disbanded the National Fire Service and created county-level fire services with Hampshire Fire Service being formed in April 1948, inheriting 50 stations. Many meetings and discussions were held prior to the service's creation by the Hampshire County Council fire service committees, to discuss who would be appointed the role of Chief Fire Officer and how the service would be structured. The service would be divided into four districts (later divisions) lettered A-D and initially centred on Aldershot, Fareham, Winchester and Lyndhurst respectively.
Initially the service's headquarters were based at Litton Lodge in Winchester with the control room at the Winchester Fire Station although the service was originally hoping to use and acquire North Hill House, also in Winchester, for usage as the headquarters. North Hill House was still desired by the Admiralty however and it was only in May 1948 when the admiralty gave up the premises that freed the building to be used by the service as their headquarters and control room which they occupied on 20 September 1948. Twenty years later in 1968, the service headquarters and control room moved to a floor of the newly constructed Ashburton Court, Winchester, the headquarters of Hampshire County Council.
Hampshire Fire Brigade
Following the passing of the Local Government Act 1972, some areas near Christchurch in the south west of Hampshire were ceded to Dorset and the cities of Southampton and Portsmouth became non-metropolitan districts. Subsequently, the newly renamed Hampshire Fire Brigade absorbed the Southampton Fire Brigade's 3 fire stations and the Portsmouth City Fire Brigade's 4 fire stations on 1 April 1974. Portsmouth became part of division B and the division headquarters moved to Copnor while Southampton became part of division D headquartered at Redbridge. Talks existed in 1973 of the Isle of Wight also merging at this point and becoming division E, however lobbying resulting in the island keeping their status as a county.
Since 1980, the service has occupied the former North End School building in Eastleigh with the site becoming home to the control centre, headquarters and training centre and fully completed in December 1984; the site was officially opened by Elizabeth II on 22 March 1985. Since 2015, the site has also been the headquarters of Hampshire Constabulary, the first shared police and fire headquarters in the country.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service
The service changed its name once again in September 1992 to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. On 1 April 1997, responsibility for the service was transferred from Hampshire County Council to the newly formed Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority as local government changes created Southampton City Council and Portsmouth City Council as unitary authorities. The new Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority was created so it could act as the combined authority for the three council areas and consisted of a board made up on councillors from all three councils proportional to the size of the area served.
A notable tragedy to affect the service during this time was the deaths of firefighters Jim Shears and Alan Bannon in the Shirley Towers fire on 6 April 2010. Following the period of austerity cuts from 2010, the service has had to reduce costs; this included a £16 million funding gap in the 2015-20 period. The authority's plan to address this while avoiding closing any fire station or issuing any compulsory redundancies included reducing the number of operational firefighters at stations, allowing some engines to respond to minor incidents with a smaller crew and introducing smaller engines at some stations. Initially the vision was for three types of fire engine: Enhanced Capability engines, which are similar in size to a traditional fire engine; Intermediate Capability appliances, which are slightly smaller; and First Response Capability appliances, which are much smaller. However the First Response appliance concept was dropped in 2019.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight
Since December 2014, the fire services of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have been working together to enable both services to meet their objectives in an environment of reduced budgets. Set forward in the Delivering Differently in Partnership project, the partnership led to significant benefits to both fire services. This led on 21 February 2017 to both the Isle of Wight Council and the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority investigating expanding the current combined fire authority (consisting of Hampshire, Southampton and Portsmouth) to include the Isle of Wight. One of the key identified benefits for the Isle of Wight included transferring property and fleet liabilities to the new organisation which would otherwise need significant investment by the Isle of Wight Council, itself under financial pressure. Following a public consultation in 2018, the plan was approved in 2019 with the new authority set to launch on 1 April 2020 but as the decision to merge was only confirmed by the Home Office in early 2020, the date was pushed back to 2021.
On 1 April 2021 the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service was created by merging the assets of both the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service; all fire stations and appliances were preserved in the merger and the way in which the two respond to emergencies is unchanged. The new badge, logo and branding for the new authority was completed by design company 1721 following feedback from staff and for the desire for a single identity for the new service where both elements had equal partnership. As part of the merger, the stations on the Isle of Wight are set for investment after a report by the shadow authority found they were "considerably below" the standards of the mainland.
HIWFRS fire stations operate on one of four duty systems:
- Wholetime – five fire stations are crewed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by full-time firefighters
- Retained – 46 fire stations use retained firefighters, who are on call and live or work within easy reach of the fire station
- Wholetime / retained – nine fire stations use a combination of wholetime and retained firefighers.
- Day-crewed / retained – one fire station is crewed for 12 hours a day (07:00–19:00) by full-time firefighters, then it is crewed by the retained firefighters at night
The fire stations are divided into eight geographical groups:
- Eastleigh Fareham Gosport
- Havant & East Hampshire
- Isle of Wight
- New Forest
- North East Hampshire
- Winchester & Test Valley
The table below shows the fire stations in each group along with their duty system.
|Group||Station Name||Duty System|
|Eastleigh Fareham Gosport||Botley||Retained|
|Eastleigh Fareham Gosport||Eastleigh Specialist / Technical Rescue||Wholetime / Retained|
|Eastleigh Fareham Gosport||Fareham||Wholetime / Retained|
|Eastleigh Fareham Gosport||Gosport||Wholetime / Retained|
|Eastleigh Fareham Gosport||Hamble||Retained|
|Eastleigh Fareham Gosport||Portchester||Retained|
|Havant & East Hampshire||Alton||Retained|
|Havant & East Hampshire||Bordon||Retained|
|Havant & East Hampshire||Emsworth||Retained|
|Havant & East Hampshire||Grayshott||Retained|
|Havant & East Hampshire||Havant||Wholetime / Retained|
|Havant & East Hampshire||Hayling Island||Retained|
|Havant & East Hampshire||Horndean||Retained|
|Havant & East Hampshire||Liphook||Retained|
|Havant & East Hampshire||Petersfield||Retained|
|Havant & East Hampshire||Waterlooville||Retained|
|Isle of Wight||Bembridge||Retained|
|Isle of Wight||Cowes||Retained|
|Isle of Wight||East Cowes||Retained|
|Isle of Wight||Freshwater||Retained|
|Isle of Wight||Newport||Wholetime / Retained|
|Isle of Wight||Ryde||Day Crewed / Retained|
|Isle of Wight||Sandown||Retained|
|Isle of Wight||Shanklin||Retained|
|Isle of Wight||Ventnor||Retained|
|Isle of Wight||Yarmouth||Retained|
|New Forest||New Milton||Retained|
|North East Hampshire||Basingstoke||Wholetime / Retained|
|North East Hampshire||Fleet||Retained|
|North East Hampshire||Hartley Wintney||Retained|
|North East Hampshire||Kingsclere||Retained|
|North East Hampshire||Odiham||Retained|
|North East Hampshire||Overton||Retained|
|North East Hampshire||Rushmoor||Wholetime / Retained|
|North East Hampshire||Tadley||Retained|
|North East Hampshire||Whitchurch||Retained|
|North East Hampshire||Yateley||Retained|
|Winchester & Test Valley||Andover||Wholetime / Retained|
|Winchester & Test Valley||Alresford||Retained|
|Winchester & Test Valley||Bishops Waltham||Retained|
|Winchester & Test Valley||Droxford||Retained|
|Winchester & Test Valley||Romsey||Retained|
|Winchester & Test Valley||Stockbridge||Retained|
|Winchester & Test Valley||Sutton Scotney||Retained|
|Winchester & Test Valley||Wickham||Retained|
|Winchester & Test Valley||Winchester||Wholetime / Retained|
Co-responder and immediate emergency care
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HIWFRS works in partnership with the South Central Ambulance Service and Isle of Wight Ambulance Service to provide emergency medical cover to select areas of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Currently, 21 areas have been identified as having a greater need for ambulance cover. Annually, the service attends over 13,000 medical emergencies supporting the ambulance service. The aim of a fire service co-responder is to preserve life until the arrival of either a rapid response vehicle (RRV) or an ambulance. Co-responder vehicles are single manned by a specially trained firefighter, who will take the vehicle to their workplace/home and will respond from there when alerted to an incident via pager/airwave radio. Each vehicle is equipped with:
- Bag and mask resuscitator
- Suction units
- Standard first aid equipment
- Entonox (analgesic gas)
In addition to co-responding, the service, excluding the Isle of Wight, has also rolled out the Immediate Emergency Care (IEC) program which has resulted in all front line fire appliances being equipped with more advanced medical equipment. This includes a defibrillator, Entonox and patient monitoring equipment. As of October 2016[update], all appliances and front line crews had received the IEC training and equipment.
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HIWFRS provides fire cover according to a system of four risk categories which have traditionally been used across the UK, where every building is rated for its risk on a scale from 'A' down to 'D'. The risk category determines the minimum number of appliances to be sent in a pre-determined attendance (PDA).
Category 'A' includes areas with a high density of large buildings, specific high risk sites, and/or population, such as docklands, ports, oil refineries, fuel storage facilities, hospitals, prisons, and some commercial and industrial complexes and factories. Two fire engines are to arrive within five minutes, and a third within eight minutes. An aerial high-reach appliance is also sent on many 'A' risk PDAs.
Category 'B' areas have a medium density of large buildings and/or population, such as multi-storey residential blocks, shops and factories, and will generally be classified as 'B' risk. Two fire engines will be deployed, with the first to arrive within five minutes and the second within eight minutes.
Category 'C' covers lower density, suburban areas and detached properties usually found in smaller towns and villages. One fire engine should arrive at a 'C' risk incident within ten minutes, and a second within twenty minutes.
Category 'D' covers more rural areas not covered by the first three categories. One fire engine should arrive at 'D' risk incidents within 20 minutes, with any further assistance available on-request by the on-scene officer in charge.
HIWFRS also has fire cover for the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, including HMNB Portsmouth, and the airports of Southampton and Farnbrough.
The Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 gives the UK fire services the ability to call upon other services or fire authorities in what is known as mutual assistance.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service gives mutual aid to the following services:
- Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service
- Surrey Fire and Rescue Service
- Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service
- West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
They also mobilise to support airport firefighters at Southampton Airport and Farnbrough Airport.
HIWFRS have their own control, stationed in the HQ, they mobilise appliances for Hampshire and Isle of wight.
The service uses Networked Fire Services Partnership, so if need be, in spate conditions, mobilise on behalf of Dorset & Wiltshire and Devon & Somerset FRS, and vice versa.
Wholly owned by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority, 3SFire is a consultancy and training business based around offering specialist health and safety and fire training and fire safety consultancy. All profits from the business are returned to the Authority to assist with running the Fire and Rescue Service.
- Fire service in the United Kingdom
- Fire engine
- Fire apparatus
- List of British firefighters killed in the line of duty
- "Our Organisation". Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- "Agenda Document for Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Authority 22 September 2020" (PDF). democracy.hants.gov.uk. Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority. p. 16. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
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- "Chief Fire Officer Neil Odin". Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- "Fire Organisational Timeline". Hampshire Police and Fire Heritage Trust. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- "History of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service". Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
- "Police begin groundbreaking move to fire headquarters". Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority. Archived from the original on 12 July 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- Streatfield, Emma (18 November 2015). "Hampshire Constabulary move into Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services' headquarters in Eastleigh". Southern Daily Echo. Newsquest. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- "Shirley Towers inquest: Firefighters died in tower block". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 18 June 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- "A Safer Hampshire: The Challenge". Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority. Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- "Hampshire fire service cuts to save £4.1m approved". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- "Planning for a safer Hampshire" (PDF). Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 May 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- "Business Case: Delivering Differently in Partnership" (PDF). Isle of Wight Council. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- "Isle of Wight and Hampshire fire services 'to work together'". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 16 January 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- ": INITIAL BUSINESS CASE INTO THE PROPOSED CREATION OF A NEW COMBINED FIRE AUTHORITY TO INCLUDE HAMPSHIRE, SOUTHAMPTON, PORTSMOUTH AND THE ISLE OF WIGHT AUTHORITIES" (PDF). democracy.hants.gov.uk. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- "Combined Fire Authority". Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
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- "Hampshire and Isle of Wight fire authorities merger delayed". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 14 July 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- "Hampshire and Isle of Wight fire authorities merger complete". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 1 April 2021. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- Yandell, Chris (1 April 2021). "Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service launched". Southern Daily Echo. Newsquest. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- "Agenda Document for Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Authority 22 September 2020" (PDF). democracy.hants.gov.uk. Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority. pp. 19–23. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- "Isle of Wight fire stations criticised in report". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 21 October 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- "Integrated Risk Management Plan for Hampshire and The Isle of Wight" (PDF). Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
- Fire and Rescue Act 2004 Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "Fire Control".
- "Home". 3SFire. Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- "About 3SFire". 3SFire. Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
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