Emergency Service Collaboration

The Police and Crime Act 2017 placed a statutory duty on emergency services to collaborate. This means that emergency services should be working more closely together in order to deliver more efficient and effective public services. 

After exploring the options outlined in the act the leader of Hertfordshire County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner of Hertfordshire signed a Memorandum of Understanding which agreed new joint arrangements for the delivery of enhanced emergency service collaboration in Hertfordshire. 

Whilst governance for Police and the Fire and Rescue service remain separate these joint arrangements will allow the development of closer emergency service collaboration and the benefits of an improved service to the public of Hertfordshire.   

Hertfordshire Emergency Service Collaboration Board was set up with the aim of developing the vision for greater collaboration and oversees a programme of work which will help shape the effective use of resources and provide a framework which supports opportunities for greater co-operation and joined up activity. 

The programme of work which the collaboration board oversees includes the key objectives which are outlined in the MoU and recent work activity is outlined below.


Work on the redevelopment of Police Headquarters and the development of a joint training base at the JESIP training academy. 

Much of the Police and Fire estate is over 50 years old and in many cases are situated within a couple of miles of each other. This means that a significant amount of the estate for both services are inefficient and expensive to run.

Both projects will provide an estate which enables Hertfordshire’s emergency services and other community safety partners to work more efficiently and effectively together in fit for purpose, modern and cost effective buildings.

This will result in an improved service to the public including increased public safety and in the long term, bring environmental benefits and a better use of tax payer’s money.   

Missing Persons & Drones

Missing Persons

Recent work activity includes examples of where a joined up response and single team working approach provides a better service to the public.

A memorandum of understanding has recently been signed which formalises arrangements for Hertfordshire’s Police and Fire and Rescue Service to work more closely with Police and share resources in order to find vulnerable missing people including children and the elderly.

This includes using HFRS specialist equipment such as thermal imaging cameras, drones, high level platforms, boats and the Service’s command vehicles to support the police in resolving incidents that may pose a threat to life.

The new process was recently used very successfully to help locate and save the life of a missing elderly woman suffering onset dementia and is now being carried out as business as usual.


An agreement has also been signed to jointly use a fire service drone to assist at major incidents and during searches for high-risk vulnerable missing people, saving time, resources and ultimately lives.

This process has recently been successfully used in locating and saving the life of a missing vulnerable, gentleman who was suffering from hypothermia. 

There are now plans for the police and fire service to jointly fund a new, state-of-the-art drone which will provide an aerial view of an incident in order to help gauge the size of the emergency which in turn will inform tactics and required resources. 

The new drone will be able to cover distances seven times quicker than officers on foot and can be used in conditions where it is unsafe for helicopters or crews to go.



After a successful pilot in Dacorum work is being completed to maximise the opportunities for joint emergency service volunteers in the community safety arena in Hertfordshire.   

Collaborative work activity is also in train in other areas such as joint service emergency and event planning and the recent transfer of Drivesafe equipment to local Fire Stations.