Fire services deal with BT could save millions of pounds

Fire and rescue services are attempting to save millions of pounds usually spent on IT and telecoms by entering into a shared services agreement with BT.

Under the deal, the UK's Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRA) procurement firm Firebuy can leverage the bulk purchasing power of the Defence Fixed Telecommunications Service (DFTS), a 250 million-a-year deal agreement between BT and the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

"Until now, procurement within the Fire & Rescue Services has been fragmented and FRAs have not had the opportunity to combine their purchasing requirements," Colin Francis, project contracts officer of Firebuy, said in a statement. "By partnering with the DFTS agreement delivered by BT, FRAs will ultimately save money for reinvestment in frontline services."

Before the agreement, BT studied ten FRAs and calculated that potential cost savings for such authorities across England and Wales could be as much as 400,000 on fixed telephone lines alone, some 20 per cent off the usual cost.