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Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004


Section 29: Equipment, facilities, services and organisations

51.This section enables the Secretary of State to provide equipment, services and facilities to fire and rescue authorities, to maintain anything so provided or to contribute towards the cost of such provision or maintenance. For example, this section gives the Secretary of State authority to provide equipment to prepare authorities to deal with civil resilience incidents and to provide standardised systems for radio communications and control rooms. This will help to ensure consistency of approach in the case of major emergencies, such as a terrorist incident.

52.Section 29 empowers the Secretary of State to establish and maintain any organisation he considers appropriate if it promotes the economy, efficiency or effectiveness of authorities or to contribute towards the costs of such an organisation. Where he establishes or maintains such an organisation or provides anything under this section, authorities may be charged for the use of the associated equipment, facilities and services.

53.This section also allows the Secretary of State, by order following consultation, to require authorities to use specified services or to use and maintain specified equipment and facilities.

Section 30: Directions for public safety purposes

54.This section provides the Secretary of State with the power to give directions, by order, to fire and rescue authorities as to the use and disposal of their property or facilities for the purposes of public safety. Such a direction may cover all kinds of property and facilities, whether or not they have been provided as part of a national procurement exercise under section 29. An example of when this power might be used is during a period of industrial action when emergency cover provided by a fire and rescue authority is insufficient and in order to ensure public safety their equipment needs to be used by others providing emergency cover.

Section 31: Training institution and centres

55.The Act provides for training for fire and rescue authority employees (and others) to be delivered centrally, regionally or locally. This section re-enacts and enhances provision allowing the Secretary of State to set up and maintain central or local (including regional) training centres.

56.The Fire Service College at Moreton in Marsh is the central training institution for the Fire and Rescue Service. It provides specialist, operational incident and New Dimension training which is considered most effectively delivered at a national level. Other training (for example, that which needs to be carried out regularly) is considered best delivered at a regional or local level.

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