I saw first-hand how remarkable the Fire & Rescue Service can be. The evening before they staffed the Bonfire Night entirely through volunteers which is a testament to their community spirit. Then, while I was visiting, a live emergency call came in and I saw a fire engine dispatched in front of my eyes and then in the control centre saw it arrive just minutes later and safely deal with a traffic incident.
Across the constituency there are 8 fire stations: Reeth, Hawes, Leyburn, Richmond, Northallerton, Colburn, Bedale and Stokesley. These stations are all different and do not share exactly the same capabilities and staffing.
The Fire service is funded through a mix of Council Tax (around 60%, you can see how much you pay on your bill) and Central Government grants. There are now only 7 out of 30 fire authorities in England that raise a lower level of tax.
In spite of difficult financial times, the fire service has continued to find efficiencies and different ways to do things and safety continues to improve. Prevention is still a major focus, especially amongst vulnerable people like elderly residents living alone.