A STRATEGY for the fire service for the next five years has been launched.

The first ever Fire and Rescue Plan sets out priorities for the Essex service and will allow police and fire commissioner Roger Hirst to hold the service to account.

The document sets out eight priorities, including enhancing prevention, protection and response, broadening the roles of the service, helping the vulnerable to stay safe and improving road safety.

Mr Hirst said: “For me, safe and secure communities are the bedrock on which we build well-being and prosperity for all.

“This requires all emergency services to work well together, to be efficient and effective in the service they provide, to prevent incidents wherever possible and to be closely embedded in the communities they serve.

“The Fire and Rescue Service has a special mission in this, to make Essex a safe place to live, work and travel.

“We need a plan for a Fire and Rescue Service in Essex which ensures we can help people to stay safe, reduces the number who are killed or seriously injured and minimises the damage to property and businesses.”