Headlines: May 21st, 2007



The six companies who have won framework agreements to supply appliances to fire and rescue services have formally signed them at a ceremony at Staffordshire Fire Service headquarters organised by Firebuy, the new national organisation set up by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Firebuy believes the deals represent a big move forward in procurement.

The companies have been selected to supply the latest technology in the building of appliances, including innovative structure, bodywork, pump fittings and foam systems all designed to improve the safety of fire crews. Between them the business will supply engines in three categories, light – up to 7.5 tonnes, medium and heavy, which will be over 14 tonnes.

Flexibility built into the agreements will mean individual fire and rescue services can order machines in accordance with their own specifications both in terms of build and the equipment to be carried and depending on whether they are to be used in towns or more rural environments. The agreement also allows the service to implement the National Integrated Risk Management Processes, which changes the way fire cover is provided by moving from a system of national prescription to services based on local need.

Liz Barron, who chairs Firebuy, said the agreements represented a huge leap forward for procurement in the fire and rescue service. “Individual Brigades can buy off the agreement knowing that the most stringent procurement and research and development processes have already been completed and that the combined purchasing power of the FRS has yielded excellent products for the safety of firefighters and the public,” she said. This also demonstrated the success of collaboration with the Chief Fire Officers’ Association Transport Officers Group and the National Procurement Board which had acted as “intelligent client” for the service to ensure the agreement met the highest technical and safety standards.