If their governing bodies vote in favour, the two services would work together.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service have had a loose partnership with their neighbours to the south since autumn last year, focusing on fire control, risk management planning and IT resource-sharing.
In a report, Chief Fire Officer Rod Hammerton and Area Manager Guy Williams recommend “procurement strategies” be added as a fourth branch, and a draft agreement “formalising the alliance’s governance and operating arrangements” be approved.
Shropshire and Wrekin Fire and Rescue Authority will discuss the proposal when it meets at its Shrewsbury headquarters on Wednesday, October 9. Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority will hold its next meeting six days later. Both consist of elected councillors from the areas covered by their brigades.
If adopted, the agreement will commit both brigades to “work in collaboration with the intent and purpose of sustaining and improving the provision of fire-class, resilient prevention, protection and emergency response services” and “wherever possible, implement a common approach to the selection and procurement of equipment, operational policies and procedures and the provision of support services”.
Discussions about adding procurement to the list of alliance projects have been ongoing since last December.
“While both services have aligned contracts and jointly-procured items and services in a number of areas, this process has not been formalised,” Officers Hammerton and Williams note.
“In other areas, individual, national and regional procurement processes have been more appropriate.”
The report authors write that the draft agreement was approved by the Fire Alliance Strategic Board – which comprises of the chairmen and vice-chairmen of both fire authorities and both CFOs – when it met on September 9.
“They requested that the agreement be submitted to both fire authorities for their formal consideration and approval,” they add.