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Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Act into force:
(1)It shall be the duty of fire authorities, so far as practicable, to join in the making of schemes (hereafter in this section referred to as “reinforcement schemes”) for securing the rendering of mutual assistance for the purpose of dealing with fires occurring in the areas of authorities participating in a reinforcement scheme where either—
(a)it is necessary to supplement the services provided under the last foregoing section by the authority in whose area the fire occurs, or
(b)reinforcements at any fire can be more readily obtained from the resources of other authorities participating in the scheme than from those of the authority in whose area the fire occurs.
[F1(2)Any reinforcement scheme and the variation or revocation of any reinforcement scheme shall be notified to the Secretary of State.]
[F1(3)Where a fire authority cannot obtain the agreement of another fire authority or other fire authorities to the making, variation or revocation of a reinforcement scheme, the Secretary of State may, at the request of the authority and after giving both or all the authorities concerned an opportunity to make representations to him, direct that such scheme or variation as may be specified in the direction shall be made by the authorities or, as the case may be, that the scheme shall be revoked.]
(4)A reinforcement scheme may make provision for apportioning between the fire authorities concerned, in such proportions as may be specified by or under the scheme, expenses incurred in taking measures to secure the efficient operation of the scheme.
[F1(5)A direction by the Secretary of State for the making or variation of a reinforcement scheme may provide for such uniformity of equipment as appears to him to be necessary for the purpose of ensuring that the fire brigades affected will be able to render efficient assistance in pursuance of the scheme.]
(6)Where a reinforcement scheme has come into operation, it shall be the duty of the fire authorities to whom the scheme applies to carry it into effect.
F2(7). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
(8)A fire authority may enter into arrangements with persons (not being other fire authorities) who maintain fire brigades to secure, on such terms as to payment or otherwise as may be provided by or under the arrangements, the provision by those persons of assistance for the purpose of dealing with fires occurring in the area of the authority where either—
(a)it is necessary to supplement the services provided by the authority under the last foregoing section, or
(b)reinforcements at any fire occurring in the area of the authority can be more readily obtained from the resources of the said persons than from the resources of the authority.
(9)The Secretary of State may, for the purposes of his functions under this section, hold such public local inquiries as he thinks fit.
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