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John Miller chosen as North Lanarkshire Scottish fire service Area Manager

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 20:56 GMT on Wednesday 20th March, 2013.
Picture is copyright of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue.

THE Chief Officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has announced 17 Local Senior Officer (LSO) appointments to work across the 32 local authority areas in Scotland.

Chief Officer Alasdair Hay, SFRS, said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of 17 Local Senior Officers. These individuals will hold key posts fulfilling a statutory requirement for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to create stronger relationships between the SFRS and local councils and continue the provision of dedicated, local fire and rescue services.

“Local Senior Officers will work with local authorities to provide effective links with local communities and ensure that as a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service we are delivering the benefits of fire reform at a local level.

“The appointments were made in consultation with the relevant local authorities and have their approval. I know that the individuals concerned, all highly experienced fire service managers, are absolutely committed to ensuring that people see the benefits of fire reform. This includes the protection of local frontline services and a commitment to build on the positive outcomes we have already delivered as individual fire and rescue services for people to be safer, particularly from fire but also from other emergencies that may occur across the country.

“LSO’s will ensure that communities across Scotland have a more equitable access to the full range of specialist fire and rescue service resources including water rescue, rope rescue, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) and the personnel, equipment, training and facilities to deal with a wide range of issues from fires, road traffic collisions, major weather related events, the potential risks from a terrorist attack, significant industrial accidents and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) response. They will also oversee the Prevention and Protection agenda for their respective areas ensuring that the public have access to the full range of community safety support from free home fire safety visits to specialist advice for individuals and organisations.

“Whilst we are a national service through the Local Senior Officers we are committed to providing closer engagement with local communities, because it is that engagement and understanding of the specific needs of different areas and working with partners and the public in local neighborhoods that will help us to deliver better outcomes and make our communities safer and stronger.

“Whilst as a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service we’ll have to think nationally we will act locally with the vast majority of our services delivered at a very local community level through our fire stations and station based personnel.”

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The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 outlines the new statutory arrangements for the establishment of local plans for local authority areas, LSO’s and the functions which will be delegated to them from the SFRS. New fire pathfinder committees have already been established in each area and have held meetings to build and strengthen local contacts and discuss area-specific needs. The LSO’s will contribute to the development of the new SFRS structures at both a local and national level.

These officers will now take forward work on local service delivery plans to agree priority objectives with each local authority. Local authorities will approve plans for their local areas giving more councillors a say than under previous regional Fire Board arrangements. LSO’s will work closely with various local partners to maintain positive existing arrangements and develop new initiatives to help meet these objectives and identify areas where public services could work together more effectively to benefit the needs of local people. The Local Senior Officer will be responsible for involving the local authority in determining the priorities, objectives and arrangements for local service delivery ensuring the continuation of excellent fire and rescue service provision across Scotland.

The West of Scotland Local Senior Officers are:

Assistant Chief Officer Dave Boyle - Glasgow
Area Manager Neville Wright -   Dumfries and Galloway
Area Manager Hugh Kerr (temp) - East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire
Area Manager Paul Tanzilli   -   East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde
Area Manager Paul Connelly   -   East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, Argyll and Bute
Area Manager John Miller    -   North Lanarkshire
Area Manager Alistair Boyle -   South Lanarkshire

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