Plans for the future of the fire service in Hertfordshire will be based around existing response times.

Currently a fire engine is expected to reach a house fire within 10 minutes, 90 per cent of the time.

A second appliance is expected to arrive within 13 minutes and a third within 16.

Now the council’s community safety and waste management cabinet panel has agreed that the new Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) – which is used for future planning – should adopt the same attendance targets.

According to the targets, an engine should reach an accident on a motorway or trunk road within 12 minutes 75 per cent of the time.

All incidents with hazardous materials should be reached within 20 minutes.

The draft IRMP – which will include investment in training facilities – is scheduled to be presented to the Panel on November 9 – before going out to public consultation on December 4.