East Ayrshire Council has formally given its backing to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) local plan for the area.
The document, which was open for public consultation from December to February, was approved by the authority’s elected members at a meeting of the full council in Kilmarnock.
Area Manager Jim Scott – the SFRS local senior officer – said: “The fire and rescue plan for East Ayrshire is a local plan developed for local needs and I’m delighted elected members have given it their backing.
“This is a diverse area that includes urban and rural communities, so protecting all of East Ayrshire requires a full understanding of its specific risks and circumstances.
“Our crews have developed strong and effective partnerships with our colleagues from East Ayrshire Council, Police Scotland, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Ayrshire College and other Community Planning Partner members – and the plan makes very clear our continued commitment to protecting people, property and the environment.
“By working closely with our fellow professionals from other agencies firefighters are able to better identify risks within a community and take action to address them before an emergency happens.
“Whether it’s more effectively targeting our Free Home Fire Safety Visit programme, or better reaching young people who could be at increased risk of falling victim to an incident on our roads, these partnerships are paying off.”
A strong emphasis on partnership working runs throughout the East Ayrshire fire and rescue plan, with the sharing of information between agencies highlighted as benefiting the public.
Addressing the specific needs of each of the area’s communities was seen by SFRS as key to successfully protecting them, and the endorsement of elected members reflects the shared commitment to all of East Ayrshire.
Councillor Douglas Reid, leader of East Ayrshire Council and chair of the Community Planning Partnership Board, said: “We fully support and commend the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service plan, which has been specifically developed for our local needs, to protect the communities of East Ayrshire.
“Partnership working with colleagues in our area has been key in the creation of this very detailed and thorough document”.
While firefighters, local authority staff and others constantly work to protect East Ayrshire from fire and other emergencies, the role of the public has also been highlighted as key to preventing tragedy.
The need for everyone to consider not only their own safety but also that of people close to them is a central pillar of the Join Scotland’s Fight Against Fire campaign.
Area Manager Scott added: “Our crews constantly work to take potentially life-saving advice to residents who may be at higher risk of experiencing a fire within the home but we need the public to put vulnerable residents in touch with us.
“Many people keep an eye out for someone who could be at risk – whether it’s an older person who lives alone, someone who has long-term physical or mental health issues or problems with the misuse of alcohol or drugs.
“If you have a friend, family member, neighbour or colleague who you think could be at increased risk from fire, then please discuss fire safety with them and help get them the support they need.
“Many people have benefited from the Free Home Fire Safety Visit programme and we want to ensure everyone who could benefit takes advantage of this popular service.
“Our crews will always visit at a time that suits the householder, identify any potential hazards and help them take some very simple steps to stay safe and confident in their home. It’s easy to arrange a visit and it could save lives.”
To arrange a free home fire safety visit call SFRS on the freephone number 0800 0731 999 or text ‘check’ to 61611.