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Explanatory Memorandum to Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006

Background and Policy Objectives

2.The Order will give effect to many of the proposals outlined in the Department’s policy consultation paper, Northern Ireland’s Fire and Rescue Service, published in 2004, and will take account of recommendations from the independent Quinquennial Review of the Fire Authority for Northern Ireland (FANI), completed in 2003, and of developments in Great Britain arising from The Independent Review of the Fire Service led by Sir George Bain in 2002. As well as introducing changes to fire and rescue services in Northern Ireland, the Order will reform fire safety legislation in line with increased emphasis on fire prevention. It will replace the Fire Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1984 and will reflect broadly the legislative changes introduced in England and Wales, through the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and in Scotland, through the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.

3.The policy objectives of the Order are:

  • To define the role and structure of the modern fire and rescue service;

  • To provide a statutory basis for core duties such as promoting community fire safety, fire fighting, responding to road traffic accidents and other emergencies, and enforcing new fire safety requirements;

  • To simplify existing fire safety legislation and reinforce the modern risk-based approach to fire prevention;

  • To give effect to European Union Directives relating to health and safety at work.

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