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It is “business as usual” for firefighters, according to Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner as the governance of the fire service transfers to him.
The Home Office backed proposals for the change four months ago and the switch formally takes place today.
Matthew Ellis will now take on the role of Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime.
But he insisted day-to-day operations at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service would not change.
“To all intents and purposes today is business as usual as far as fire operations are concerned,” he said.
“It’s important to understand this is not, and never has been, a merger of police and fire. Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service will remain separate entities with separate budgets and staff.
“The only area where that will change significantly is developing a shared approach, as set out in the business case, to some support and administrative functions.
“Work is also underway to take forward initial ideas from the two services around how police and fire can work better together generally.
“The principles around this work are to find ways of ensuring more of the money available overall is allocated to both services for work in the heart of communities across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.”
To help smooth the transition, the Commissioner has held open discussions with firefighters in the last few months.
He said: “I found the sessions fascinating and I’m grateful to everyone who attended. Not only were they enlightening, the honesty of all firefighters and fire and rescue staff was invaluable.
“The meetings I have had in preparation for the change with leaders of the service and senior officials, have also been helpful and I’m grateful for the time committed.”