Chief Fire Officer's Message

We need your help

A portrait photograph of Chief Fire Officer Graham Stagg.

 I was delighted to take over as chief fire officer in September 2007, having been assistant chief fire officer since 2004 when I moved to Cambridgeshire from London Fire Brigade.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service has been recognised by government inspectors and peers from other fire services and public sector organisations as performing well and consistently improving over the last few years. We are also one of the lowest cost fire and rescue service per head of population in the country so we offer good value for money for local residents too.

My vision for this Service is that we deliver the very best operational response and provide an excellent community safety service, both underpinned by the most effective use of resources and having the community at the heart of everything we do. We will be innovative in our approach and work with partners in other emergency services and organisations, such as local authorities, to achieve this, as well as learning and taking best practice from our colleagues in other fire and rescue services.

Over the last five years there has been a notable downward trend in the number of fires, arsons and deaths and injuries from fires in the home, and we will do all we can to continue this trend over the coming years.

Our vision and aim for continuous improvement is going to be all the more challenging over the next few years as we face large-scale budget cuts. We are currently having to make some very difficult decisions about where we can find the required savings from, and for a small rural and efficient service, it does mean looking at our frontline services too, as much as we will try and take everything we can from the back office first.

We are continuing to lobby Government to explain the impact of the cuts on our Service but we have a legal duty to balance our budget and therefore we have to plan for worst case scenario cuts, which could be up to £6 million over the next four years. For a £30 million budget, that is a significant cut.

As we strive to continue to reduce the number of fires in the county, we need to call on your help too.

Most fires in the home we attend could have been prevented. They are caused by people not being as vigilant as they could be with things like candles, cooking, lighters and cigarettes.

Some people still do not have smoke alarms in their homes, and a large proportion of the people that do, don't test them regularly enough to check they are still working.

Advice about how to keep safe from fire in your home is given in our Fire Safety in the Home section. If you suspect that you - or someone you know - might be at risk of fire, you can ring us for advice.

We would also like your help to improve our service further. If you have an opinion about any aspect of our role or the service we provide, then please let us know.

Together, we really can help make Cambridgeshire a safer place to live.