Assets and Environmental Strategy
Our Assets and Environmental Strategy seeks to ensure we are supporting our staff to perform in their roles by providing the right equipment, in the right places and buildings located across Bedfordshire.
This Service has invested in providing innovative new vehicles and equipment to improve the effectiveness of our emergency response services and to keep our firefighters safe. We are used to challenging and achieving value for money on everything we buy. And we look for innovation and the best deals available to meet our specified needs.
Our estate is made up of fire stations, some houses, stores and workshops, training venues and office buildings. The majority of these were built in the 1950s and 1960s and are beginning to show their age. Despite making alterations to our fire stations to make them better to work in and more inclusive to meet the needs of our diverse workforce, and to facilitate sharing with our partners from the police and ambulance service, we recognise many simply do not meet our current and future needs. The Covid pandemic has led us to change how and when we use our buildings, and we are keen to reduce our running costs and carbon footprint. We want to encourage everyone that can, to balance working from home and from different office spaces, in a way which best meets our business needs and their personal preferences.
We have secured agreement with Bedfordshire Police and East of England Ambulance Service Trust to establish a Blue Light Estates strategy for Bedfordshire which puts co-location and collaboration at the heart of our estate’s investment plans for the next two to three decades. We will continue to provide space for partners and other agencies to work and explore opportunities to share and collaborate where we can, as well as provide modern, inclusive, and fit for purpose emergency response bases for the Service.
Our estates priorities include:
- Deliver a proactive programme of refurbishment and improvement to all our existing fire stations to promote more hybrid and peripatetic working
- Improve the energy efficiency of our buildings
- Continue to minimise any contamination at fire stations by particulates when firefighters return from incidents
- Embed inclusion and dignity at work in all property works
- Produce a roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030
- Respond to the outcomes of the emergency cover review, identifying any alternative locations and defining outcome specifications for new or refurbished stations
- Review options for funding our future accommodation needs
- Identify options for investing in larger fleet and equipment workshops
- Establish the business case for a collaborative training centre
Our approach will be to:
- Ensure collaboration and co-location is at the heart of all our estates projects
- Embed inclusion and dignity at work in all property works via inclusive design processes involving stakeholder consultation
- Allocate strategic resource in 2023 to pump-prime this important workstream
In fleet and equipment terms we continue our efforts to ensure effective fleet and asset management helps us support our front-line services and keeps our communities safe. Our Fleet Management Strategy 2023–2027 intends to ensure our Fleet assets are procured, renewed, and replaced to meet:
- Current and future operational needs
- End user requirements
- The needs of the communities we serve
The management of the Service’s fleet assets are controlled from a single fleet workshop facility at Kempston which maintains and repairs the fleet of fire appliances, specialist response and other vehicles. The fleet management team are responsible for maintaining the statutory elements of road vehicle use. This includes insurance, vehicle excise duty and maintaining sufficient fuel supplies and monitoring and recording fuel related statistics.
Our workshops also undertake the management and control of cars, pool vehicles and vans. Our health and safety department assists with this by reporting on accident statistics and driving licence checks. There has been much needed investment and support during the previous four years across the Service resulting in much more effective fleet and asset management including procurement, maintenance, and training.
Our fleet and equipment priorities are:
- Reducing our carbon footprint by replacing internal combustion engine cars and combo size vans from 2023 with only hybrid or fully electric alternatives
- Reduce our carbon footprint by utilising local suppliers where possible
- Recycle and upcycling vehicles and vehicle parts where possible
- BFRS will determine the disposition and use of our fleet by utilising the results of our emergency cover review
- Locate our fleet in the most strategic locations to best serve the demands of the community and associated partners
- The type of vehicles is suited to provide the requirements of the needs of the community and the infrastructure of the area that they are located in