Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Sharing technical fire safety advice across county borders

Fire safety experts from Essex will soon be providing specialist advice and services to Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service after signing up to a three year partnership.

The deal was made between EFA Trading Ltd, the commercial arm of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS), and Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, and will see ECFRS Technical Fire Safety Engineers providing a paid for consultancy service for fire engineering design.

When a building is large or complex it often does not meet building regulations guidance. This is when the Technical Fire Safety team will become involved; revisiting the designs and calculating how long it will take for a building to become unsafe in a fire and how long it will take for the occupants to escape.

ECFRS’s Technical Fire Safety Officers will assist the neighbouring county’s service with the specialist knowledge and experience needed to carry out this work. This will include assessing fire evacuation strategies, creating models to predict how fires react, producing reports and recommendations for building regulations and supporting future auditing and inspections.

Divisional Officer Mark Earwicker said: “Due to the qualifications required to be a Technical Fire Safety Engineer, it takes around five to seven years for staff to qualify in this area once they have become competent Fire Safety Officers. This new partnership means that we are utilising our skill set within Essex as well as sharing resources and generating income.”

EFA Trading is currently in talks with other fire services with the intention of mirroring this partnership in other parts of the region.

PHOTO L-R: Divisional Officer Mark Earwicker, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, Divisional Officer (Group Manager) Paul Goodman, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, and Station Officer (Watch Manager) Matt Canham, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

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