The Minister for Policing, Mike Penning, yesterday praised Adam Simmonds and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner during a debate at Westminster Hall for their work on integrating police and fire services.
Mr Penning said that the work Mr Simmonds has carried out is a prime example of how Police and Crime Commissioners can have a positive influence on the running of fire and rescue services.
In the debate on police and fire shared services, Mr Penning said:
“Northamptonshire is a good example [of how shared services will be positive], because the Northamptonshire PCC is one of the most forward-thinking PCCs in the country.
“He is already running the fire service management, but he does not interfere in the operational running of the fire service, in exactly the same way as PCCs do not have any effect on the operation of the police force.
“He is now looking at the ambulance service to see whether, for instance, the clinical commissioning groups would like to commission non-blue light or blue light vehicles from him.
“The vast majority of the ambulance services that are offered in this country, such as patient transport, do not use blue-light vehicles. It is hugely expensive, and it is often very highly qualified people doing those sorts of jobs. Where we are short of paramedics, we have to ensure they are doing front-line jobs, not administrative jobs or ‘ordinary’ patient transport jobs.”
Read the debate in full by clicking here.