Police have been given access fire stations across Devon as part of a new agreement between the emergency services.
Devon and Cornwall Police can use a fire station to speak to members of the public ‘away from the nearest police station’ or to access welfare facilities when on patrol, a statement by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service says.
The agreement applies to all fire stations in Devon.
Station Manager Lynn Foxwell, of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It makes sense that we share use of our fire stations with Devon and Cornwall Police, particularly where they don’t have a base. The public want to see us make the best use of facilities and expect us to work well together.”
The two services tested the scheme in North Devon before rolling it out across Devon on August 1.
The fire service points out that the government is encouraging greater collaboration between emergency services and ‘this is one of many ways in which the services are working more closely together’.
Chief Inspector Tom Holmes, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “This agreement will also provide emergency responders with the opportunity to meet each other outside of the operational environment of an incident, to develop working relationships and widen the team and is an exciting opportunity to strengthen our links with our rural communities.”
The emergency services work to a jointly-agreed set of principles at incidents and developing those relationships in other environments will enable a greater understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities.