The fire engine at Berkhamsted could be replaced by an ‘intermediate response vehicle’, under proposals for on call fire stations across the county.
And if the move is successful in Berkhamsted, it could be repeated at other on call fire stations across the county.
The new ‘intermediate’ response vehicles are among the proposals in the draft Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP), which sets out the future vision for Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service until 2023.
And should the plan be adopted – after a period of public consultation – the trial could start as early as July 2019.
According to the draft IRMP, the smaller and more versatile vehicles would provide a similar emergency response, although they would be designed and equipped for incidents requiring fewer firefighters.
Berkhamsted has been chosen to trial the new approach because it is a busy on call station, that is well supported by fire stations in Tring and in Hemel Hempstead.
“This means there is sufficient resilience in the local area to facilitate a trial of this nature, ” says the draft IRMP.
If the trial is successful the use of ‘intermediate’ response vehicles will be considered at other on call stations such as Tring and Kings Langley.
The IRMP notes the difficulties in maintaining a level of cover from on call firefighters – particularly through the day.
And it outlines plans to encourage employers to support staff to become on call firefighters, with ‘smart’ or remote working meaning they could even be based in a fire station.
There are also proposals for a more flexible approach during periods when they struggle to find available firefighters.