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Case Studies: The NFCC Emergency Response Vehicles Framework

The NFCC Emergency Response Vehicles Framework

The NFCC Emergency Response Vehicles Framework has been in place since March 2017.  The Framework was let by Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service through the NFCCs NFCC Fire Commercial Transformation Programme. 

There was extensive engagement with both FRSs and Industry leading into the development of the Framework.  Whilst the Fleet Category accounts for c£85m pa of the sectors 3rd party expenditure c60% (c£50m pa) is within the scope of the Emergency Response Vehicles Framework.

Changes to fleet within the Fire Sector are increasingly seen as strategic enablers for wider change initiatives as fire authorities seek to innovate and provide greater flexibility in their response standards and operational capability as well as looking for value for money or financial considerations.

The fleet category strategy aims to provide fire authorities with the opportunity to reduce procurement, acquisition and whole life costs of fleet and services through:

  • Assisting with reviews of fire fleet profiles and the introduction of new technologies and innovation;
  • Access to and sharing of knowledge to resolve sector issues, reduce duplication of effort and determine best practice and standards;
  • Improve communication and understanding between end-users, stakeholders and suppliers to ensure products and services are fit for purpose;
  • Increased standardisation, aggregation and effective contract management of key suppliers within the market;
  • Assisting in progress of the development of robust design and build specification standards particularly where new and innovative products are delivered.

It is important that the framework strikes the right balance to ensure each fire authority can procure vehicles and associated services that meet local Community Risk Management Plans (CRMP) needs whilst being able to benefit from effective national procurement arrangements and efficiency savings achievable through collaboration.

Any approach to develop upon standardisation within the associated procurement frameworks need to support best practice principles whilst enabling flexibility for localisation of operational requirements and specifications.

Numbers between March 2017 and November 2020

  • 34

    contracting authorities used the framework

  • £101 million

    worth of vehicles

  • £63 million

    procured via the framework

Numbers Breakdown

The Framework was let in March 2017 and between then and November 2020;

  • 448 vehicles with a combined value of £101million have gone through the framework (completed/delivered, excludes other orders and in-build);
  • 34 Contracting Authorities have used the framework;
  • Spend per Vehicle Type – £88million Pumping Appliances (86.71%), £8million Aerials (8%) and £5million Specials (5.29%);
  • Volume per Vehicle Type – 403 Pumping Appliances (89.96%), 13 Aerials (2.9%) and 32 Specials (7.14%);
  • Super Pumping Appliances (over 15 tonnes GVW) – 267 procured via framework with a combined value of £63million, almost 62% of total spend.

The majority of FRSs are using the existing NFCC framework agreement and have been really appreciative and have expressed their thanks for putting the framework in place and the support provided when FRSs use it.  The Framework has allowed a number of FRSs to use the jointly developed national standards and templates, to collaborate together, standardise requirements and aggregate their demand resulting in both cashable and non-cashable savings. 

In FY18/19 alone Fire & Rescue Services (data not received from all that have used the Framework) reported savings in excess of £2m across the Fleet Category, the majority of which came through procurements relating to Emergency Response Vehicles.

Regular meetings with Framework Suppliers have taken place throughout the life of the Framework.  In particular Suppliers have been really appreciative of the guidance issued to FRSs regarding agreeing timescales for progressing fleet procurements (min 6 weeks out to tender) and where possible advanced notice of forthcoming tenders to enable them to plan accordingly as well as avoiding key holiday periods at Easter, during the summer and at Christmas.