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County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service has had a Commercial Trading Arm for over 5 years. In that time, Vital Fire Solutions has seen some of the most well-known companies in the UK come to get some form of product or service from us. Whenever we engage with an existing or new customer, our whole ethos is about looking after them, making them feel like they are our one and only customer – ensuring high quality provision of products and services are matched with that of high levels of customer care. It’s not just for massive businesses either, sometimes, the most pleasure we get is with working with small, local businesses who see a real value in what we do for them.

So, what do we do?

Well, as you would imagine, being associated to the Fire Service leads itself to being highly competent in a few different fields – notably Fire Safety. So, whether its Training, consultancy, Risk Assessment, Extinguishers or Fire Blankets, we have an end-to-end solution for any business, any size, any sector.

The best barometer we feel to gauge how our customers feel about us is the fact we keep engaging with them over a period of years, which means in highly competitive business environments, many businesses see us as their provider of choice for what we do.

Why have a Trading arm in the first place?

Since 2010, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service – like every other Service around the UK – has seen funding reduced year-on-year. To enable the Service to continue to have such excellent response standards, we ae looking to income generate, to eventually underpin cuts the Service is experiencing and allow front line operations not to be affected. At the same time, it’s also fantastic to be able to show a glimpse into Fire Service life to many customers, who visit our sites and engage with our employees when attending courses we provide. It’s fair to say, we ensure the ethics, quality and overall reputation of the Fire Service is translated through Vital Fire Solutions, to ensure the customers’ experience when engaging with us is always a positive one.

And where does the income we generate go to?

100% goes back into the Service, no Directors can take dividends, no sales staff are on commission, it’s purely a vehicle for supporting the Service wherever it can. It’s not without its challenges, growing a business like this is difficult, due to high competition, reduced prices and to be honest sometimes we just don’t shout loud enough as to how well we are doing, but we are trying  – this blog may well be the start.