In England a fire authority is usually a local body that has the responsibility for running the fire rescue service in a designated locality. It is responsible for the fire stations, staff, fire brigades, command and control and all necessary training of its fire department.
Each fire authority has its own decision making structure and board members made up of local councillors from all the local political parties as well as the chief fire officer. They tend to form committees and panels that meet regularly to decide on it’s strategy and to set goals to be achieved for their fire service. These panels have responsibility for the authorities budget as well as its audit procedures. This process is transparent to ensure that the committee is accountable to the general public and the local authorities. Each fire authority committee meeting will have an agenda for discussion, and generally speaking most meetings are open to the public.
The authority is also responsible for the human resources department and recruitment of the fire brigade as well as fire training and development for its fulltime workforce and also retained fire fighters.
The focus not only on providing a fire and rescue service for each of its areas and districts, for instance in ensuring that a fire engine reaches a burning building asap but also on fire risk assessments and prevention projects.