::Fire services in the United Kingdom
Emergency cover is provided by over fifty fire and rescue services (FRS), which is the term used in modern legislation and by government departments.<ref>Department for Communities and Local Government: Fire and Resilience (accessed 08 Dec 06)</ref> Many FRS were previously known as brigades or county fire services, but almost all now use the standard terminology. They are distinct from and governed by a fire authority, which is the legislative, public and administrative body, made up of civilians (usually members of elected local or regional bodies). Fire authorities in England and Wales (and formerly Scotland), and therefore fire and rescue services, receive a large proportion of their funding through a share of Council Tax. Scotland and Northern Ireland have centralised fire and rescue services, and so their authorities are effectively committees of the devolved parliaments.
Central government maintains national standards and a body of independent advisers through the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, which was created in 2007, replacing Her Majesty's Fire Services Inspectorate. The devolved government in Scotland has a similar agency, HMFSI Scotland.
Firefighters in the United Kingdom are allowed to join unions, the main one being the Fire Brigades Union, while chief fire officers (the heads of the various FRS) are members of the Chief Fire Officers Association, which has some role in national co-ordination.
The fire services have undergone significant changes since the beginning of the 21st century, a process that has been propelled by a devolution of central government powers, new legislation and a change to operational procedures in the light of terrorism attacks and threats.
Fire services in the United Kingdom sections
Intro History Legislative framework Government responsibility for fire services Fire service structure Fire service funding Modernisation Powers Incident reporting Public Fire and Rescue Services in the constituent countries of the UK Other UK fire and rescue services See also References External links
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