Three fire services in the Thames Valley have saved around £720,000 on the purchase of new fire engines through a collaborative project.
The services, covering Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Berkshire, decided to work together on the procurement of a fleet of new fire engines to reduce costs but also to allow crews to work across the region seamlessly thanks to standardised equipment.
In a statement the services said the “collaborative work has delivered fire engines which include the latest innovation and technological advances, and also further align working practices between firefighters in the Thames Valley”.
“During the project a joint procurement exercise and rigorous testing process was held, resulting in the agreement of a contract for a total of 37 new fire engines over the next four years.”
Under the £8.5m deal 15 vehicles will be delivered in the first year of the contract, with eight for Buckinghamshire, three for Oxfordshire and four for Berkshire.
The new 15-tonne fire engines were built by Emergency One (UK) on Volvo FL 42R chassis. The machines “symbolise the high levels of collaboration which have been achieved by the three services” since a shared Thames Valley Fire Control Service was set up in 2015.
Councillor Roger Reed, chairman of Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority, said: “By working closely with our Thames Valley fire and rescue service partners in the procurement exercise, we have been able to increase the efficiency of our fleet.
“Not only has this resulted in making our money go further, but it also means that our crews can work seamlessly together with our partners.”
Councillor Judith Heathcoat, deputy leader of Oxfordshire County Council and the cabinet member for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This is an excellent example of public sector collaboration which is not only an effective and efficient way of working, but a moral duty to help protect the communities we serve.”
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