Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire and West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authorities have signed a formal agreement to work in partnership to develop a shared Fire Control Service covering Staffordshire and the West Midlands.
"We firmly believe that exploring the opportunity of a joint fire control service is the right thing to do and has the potential to bring real improvements not just for the two organisations but most importantly in terms of service to our respective local communities."
The Chairs of the respective Fire and Rescue Authorities Cllr Len Bloomer (Stoke-on Trent and Staffordshire) and Cllr John Edwards (West Midlands) signed the agreement at the first meeting of the Fire Control Project Governance Board, along with the Chief Fire Officers from each Service.
The initial announcement that Staffordshire and the West Midlands would work together was made back in August. The agreement signed last week sets out more of the detail on how the project will be managed.
Cllr Bloomer said, "There is clearly a great deal of work to do but the signing of this agreement marks an important step in the relationship between Staffordshire and the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Services. We firmly believe that exploring the opportunity of a joint fire control service is the right thing to do and has the potential to bring real improvements not just for the two organisations but most importantly in terms of service to our respective local communities."
Cllr Edwards said, "One of the key objectives of the shared fire control project is to improve service delivery performance to the public and fire fighter safety through improved resource planning and mobilisation. We also believe that the shared service will deliver improvements in resilience and continuity of service"
A bid for just over £4 million has been submitted to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for funding to support the project. Money is being made available by the government to help Fire and Rescue Authorities working on new fire control solutions following the closure of the Regional Control Centre project at the end of last year.