13 March 2013 Emergency services join forces in Elmswell and Debenham l-r: Tim Passmore and Cllr Colin Spence officially open the joint Police and Fire Station at Debenham. Suffolk Constabulary has joined forces with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, working side by side at newly refurbished Fire and Police stations in Elmswell and Debenham Councillor Colin Spence, cabinet member for public protection, along with Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, officially opened the two new premises today (11 March). The newly refurbished facilities are designed to maximise the use of public property assets, reduce operating costs, improve services and maintain a high profile presence to local people Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Constabulary agreed last year to jointly fund the shared bases at fire stations in the villages of Debenham, Elmswell and Ixworth. Ixworth Fire and Police station has now been fully operational for several months after its official opening on Monday 7 January. The arrangements of the three new stations are based on the model originally established at Framlingham fire station, which was extended and opened in 2011 to incorporate the Police Safer Neighbourhood Team. Fire and police staff have successfully been working together in both Framlingham and Ixworth, sharing new office space, an interview room, a community room and other facilities. Improved access facilities for disabled people are also provided as part of the project. Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said; “This is an excellent example of partnership working and one that ensures that police and fire services remain in the heart of the community they serve, while helping both organisations operate more efficiently. “This is an important initiative, which will not only help both the police and county council make best use of resources but also provide our staff with improved working facilities.” l-r: Cllr Colin Spence, Andy Fry, Tim Passmore, Cllr Jeremy Pembroke and Cllr Jane Storey at the official opening of the joint Police and Fire Station at Elmswell. Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public protection said; “These collaborations offer excellent value for money and, more importantly, a fantastic service to each community. I am confident that this arrangement will yield benefits to local people for years to come. “It is more important than ever to work together with our partners to share resources and facilities in these austere times for public services.” The combined working arrangements will create savings through improved energy efficiency with staff working from one building instead of two, plus better equipment and facilities.