Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The provision of fire services in rural areas

By Wyn Grant


Fire services have been neglected in discussions of public service provision in rural areas. The way in which they are provided has a broader significance in terms of current debates about risk management. Fire service policy was transferred away from the Home Office, but the Bain Report provided the major stimulus to change. Early central government attempts to stimulate fire service provision in rural area were hampered by a lack of cooperation between local authorities. Rates of death from fire are influenced by attendance times and are particularly high in remote rural areas. The development of national standards of fire cover was focused on protecting property rather than saving lives with disproportionate funding being provided for urban areas. Social changes in rural areas have made it more difficult to secure sufficient numbers of retained fire fighters. It has proved particularly difficult to provide an adequate service in remote rural areas such as the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, despite recent policy initiatives there. Problems of providing fire cover are particularly acute on isolated islands. The development of integrated risk management plans should offer a more fine grained approach to providing fire cover. However, they may be too sophisticated for the task in rural areas and more traditional democratic mechanisms for expressing perceived community needs may have a greater relevance

Topics: TH
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
Year: 2005
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1957). A History of the British Fire Service. Routledge and Kegan Paul,
  2. (2003). Central Government and the Modernization of the doi
  3. (1936). Departmental Committee on Fire Brigade Services. Stationery Office,
  4. (1992). Fire and Police – Local and Regional Services’, doi
  5. (1995). In the Line of Fire. London, Audit Commission. Bain, Sir G.
  6. (1958). Office doi
  7. (1998). Out of the Line of Fire: Modernising the Standards of Fire. Home Office,
  8. (2002). Retained, Auxiliary and Voluntary Firefighters in the Scottish Fire Service. Scottish Central Executive Research Unit, Edinburgh. Public Record Office
  9. (1980). Review of Fire Policy. Home Office, doi
  10. (1999). Risk Assessment and Provision of Fire Cover in Remote Rural Areas of Scotland. Scottish Office and Home Office,
  11. (1923). Royal Commission on Fire Brigades and Fire Prevention. Stationery Office,
  12. (2002). Service Inspectorate for Scotland
  13. (1998). The Economics of Fire Protection. doi
  14. (1957). The Emergency Fire Services in the War of 1949-1945’, unpublished typescript, PRO:

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.