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National overview

The Home Office has responsibility for fire and rescue in England. The current fire Minister is Lord Stephen Greenhalgh - view his biography on the GOV.UK website.

Fire policy is devolved – so the Welsh Government is responsible in Wales, the Scottish Parliament in Scotland and Northern Ireland’s Department for Health in Northern Ireland.

Fire and rescue services in England are governed by the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. The Act outlines the legal basis in which fire and rescue services operate. This includes:

  • their governance arrangements
  • duties and powers of fire and rescue authorities
  • the requirement for Government to produce a national framework, which sets strategic priorities for fire and rescue authorities

The Act sets out the following core functions for fire and rescue authorities:

  • extinguishing fires in their area, as well as protecting life and property in the event of a fire
  • rescuing people in the event of a road traffic accident
  • assessing and preventing any fire and rescue-related risks
  • responding to any other emergencies, including requests from the Secretary of State

How fire and rescue services are managed