Chief Fire Officer moves to Police HQ for closer collaboration
Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s senior leaders, including the Chief Fire Officer, have moved to work in the Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City.

The relocation is part of the ongoing drive for closer collaboration, which can exploit key operational and business services between the police and fire and rescue in the county, with the aim of improving public safety.

Hertfordshire’s Emergency Services Collaboration Board (HESCB) is overseeing a programme of collaborative changes, which also includes the sharing of key operational assets such as the fire service’s hi-tech drone unit, which is being routinely deployed to assist frontline police officers in the search for vulnerable missing people.

Looking ahead, the co-location will enable more effective joint strategic planning by taking a ‘prevention first’ approach, which looks to safeguard the most vulnerable in our communities through effective partnership working and information sharing.

(L-R) Chief Constable, PCC, Leader of Herts County Council and Chief Fire Officer. (Picture taken pre-COVID)

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “We are working ever closer with our colleagues in the Fire and Rescue Service and I welcome their leaders to police headquarters. Closer integration between our emergency services enables us all to offer greater benefits to public safety. New joint working procedures for finding missing people and the shared drone unit have already saved lives.

“Our emergency service collaboration board is working on an ambitious range of objectives including the creation of a joint headquarters and training facilities. This move signals that delivering this programme of change remains a high priority for myself, the Constabulary and our partners in Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue.”

Darryl Keen, Chief Fire Officer, said: “We have always worked closely with Constabulary colleagues at emergencies and so it makes obvious sense to work more closely in preparing for, and preventing emergencies. This co-location of our Chief Officer teams is the first step in a longer-term project to create a joint headquarters facility and we are confident that this will help to further improve public safety.”

Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, David Williams, said: “Hertfordshire County Council has long recognised the need for our emergency services to work together over and above the incidents they attend jointly. The creation of a joint headquarters is just one of the ways we are working with the Police and Crime Commissioner to strengthen collaboration between the emergency services in Hertfordshire.”

Charlie Hall, Chief Constable for Hertfordshire added: “Having the fire service senior leadership team working alongside us makes complete sense. It will help make future planning agile and enhance the exploration of further collaboration opportunities that can really make a difference to how we serve the public. I welcome our colleagues aboard and look forward to working more closely together.”