Fire and Rescue Services give suppliers advice on inflationary pressures


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The Fire Industry Association (FIA) has written via its FRES Council to the National Fire Chiefs Council, asking that Fire and Rescue Services engage with suppliers to reach a mutual agreement on pricing and recommended longer term fixed-price contracts.

The FIA noted that inflation in the UK has been rising and in April 2022 was recorded at 7.8%, up from 6.2% the previous month. It said that these figures are the Consumer Price Index [CPI] which is generally predicted to peak at around 11% over the coming months and is based on a typical basket of goods and services purchased by consumers, but that this is only part of the story, of course, as some prices have risen by far greater than the CPI.

The statement signed by Bernie Higgins, Chair of the Fire and Rescue Equipment and Services Council, on behalf of the FIA said: “The Services themselves have seen central government grants cut by an average of 13.8% over the last five years with some experiencing cuts of 10-44% over that period. Latest figures show an annual increase this year of 4.4-9.4% depending on the Service in question which is some improvement but fails to alleviate pressures on FRS procurement across the country relative to past expenditure capability.”

Higgins continued: “We ask that Fire and Rescue Services engage with suppliers to reach a mutual agreement, this time on pricing. We would recommend that longer term fixed-price contracts and call-offs from Frameworks over an extended period should now be subject to formal recognition of inflation and any extraordinary cost increases of components and raw materials as they relate to the products in question.”

He added: “Finally, we wish to refer please to the matter of the vital importance of our Fire and Rescue Services offering forecasts of their equipment requirements, preferably collectively or at least individually, to the supply base with as much notice as possible and ideally with a five year horizon. Suppliers accept that such forecasts are subject to change but they will offer significant assistance to suppliers who are looking to manage their resources effectively.

“With supply chain issues affecting our members’ ability to receive components and raw materials for their manufacturing processes now and into the future, this has never been more essential to us as providers to the sector and to you as the Fire and Rescue Services in maintaining and improving your service to the public.”

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