Firefighters across England are going above and beyond their fire prevention work and are now supporting vulnerable people with issues relating to dementia, mental health, domestic abuse, social isolation, childhood obesity and youth unemployment. Following the transfer of public health duties to local government, the fire and rescue service is now working in partnership with councils to help combat a range of health and wellbeing issues including cot deaths, drug and alcohol abuse, fuel poverty and housing problems.
The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents all 49 fire and rescue authorities (FRAs) in England and Wales and more than 370 local councils, has produced a report called ‘Beyond Fighting Fires – The role of the fire and rescue service in improving the public's health'. The report catalogues work by a number of fire services across England, covering both rural and urban environments and with varying levels of deprivation and affluence. It highlights the impact FRAs are having in tackling health inequalities in collaboration with other public services. The case studies contained within this publication explore their activities to help the most vulnerable individuals and families in our communities.