A review into how the fire service operates on the Isle of Wight will look to tackle 'known challenges with resilience' and will see more full-time firefighters recruited in Ryde.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service has said it will also upgrade stations in Ryde and Newport, to create 'modern and fit-for-purpose workplaces'.

A 'risk-based review' is being carried out by the service to see how it can best meet what it calls the 'evolving and unique needs and risks of the Island', now and in the future.    

This will include identifying challenges with crew availability and considering what investment is needed for stations.

The fire service said 'there are currently known challenges with resilience on the Island'.

The service said recruiting more full-time firefighters in Ryde will ensure they are able to provide an immediate response to incidents at all times.

The in-depth review will also look at how the Service needs to adapt to keep staff and communities safe, while spending public money most effectively and efficiently.

HIWFRS Chief Fire Officer, Neil Odin, said: “Everything we do as a fire service is risk-based and about keeping our staff and communities safe.

"We must always ensure we have the most appropriate resources to meet the risks we face and that we are spending public money most effectively.   

“The Island is unique in many ways and asking for the views of our communities, staff and partners is an important part of this review process.

"We will be sharing any proposals for changes and the feedback we receive will help inform any decisions, so please get involved.”   

The service will engage with residents and partners to better understand the risks and consult on any proposals which are developed from the review.   

At Newport and Ryde fire stations, plans are afoot to improve to contamination management and inclusive welfare facilities for crews.

All 10 fire stations on the Island had either new or improved vehicle exhaust ventilation systems installed, as part of an improvement and refurbishment programme.

Since 2021, the service said £2.9m has already been spent on improving fire stations on the Island to make sure they are fit for purpose.