My thanks to Surrey’s Chief Fire Officer Steve Owen-Hughes and the team at Walton Fire Station for a great visit earlier today.
The Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) does an incredible job to keep residents across the county safe 24/7 – not just responding to fires, but also rescuing people from rivers and other dangerous situations. Walton is one of three fire stations in Esher and Walton constituency, with an impressive team who have tackled 186 fires over the past year.
Today, as well as showing me the array of fire-fighting equipment, the team briefed me on the significant changes in SFRS over the past few years. There’s been a big change of emphasis, with a move towards prevention and protection. This has seen SFRS visiting homes, schools, care homes and landowners, briefing residents on fire risks and installing free smoke alarms.
Of course tackling fires remains a top priority, and there’s been new investment in fire engines and new kit. In fact it was very encouraging to hear that, with the recent shifting of resources around the county, average fire response times have been falling.
Thanks again to the whole team at Walton Fire Station.