A report published today, Tuesday 17 December, by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has rated Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) good at providing an effective service to the public and making the best use of its resources. It was also rated good for looking after its people and outstanding at promoting the right values and culture.
We work very hard to ensure we do the best we can to keep the people of Staffordshire safe. The Service is nothing without its people and this report reflects the commitment and hard work of everyone across Staffordshire Fire and Rescue.
HMICFRS’s overall summary of the inspection findings said that: “We are very pleased with the performance of SFRS in keeping people safe and secure, and, in particular, in how it looks after its people.
“Overall, we commend SFRS for its performance. We are confident it is well equipped for this to continue.”
Carried out in summer 2019, the inspection at SFRS examined the service’s effectiveness and efficiency at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks, and how well it looks after its people.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Becci Bryant said: “We work very hard to ensure we do the best we can to keep the people of Staffordshire safe. The Service is nothing without its people and this report reflects the commitment and hard work of everyone across Staffordshire Fire and Rescue.
“A highlight of the report for me has been the rating of the Service’s culture as ‘outstanding’. Having a positive and inclusive culture which enables our people to perform at their best which is critical to the delivery of an effective and efficient service.
“I’m also pleased the report recognises the work we carry out around fire safety. Our Fire Safety Team works hard carrying out inspections and giving advice to make sure buildings in Staffordshire meet fire safety standards and are safe for people to use. In recognition of the importance of this work we’re recruiting three new degree apprentices to bolster the team.”
The HMICFRS inspectors singled out the community sprinkler project for recognition. Becci said: “I’m really proud that the inspectors recognised the Service’s community sprinkler project and everything it’s achieved. Sprinklers can and do save lives and we’re working closely with social housing providers to retrofit sprinklers in residential buildings taller than four storeys in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. We’ll continue to push to achieve our target of having them fitted in all such buildings by 2026.
The report also highlighted some areas for improvement, including on-call arrangements and leadership development. The Service is already working on a package of measures to improve on-call arrangements including investment in technology and changes to the recruitment and training process to make it easier for people who want to become an on-call firefighter. SFRS is awaiting the outcome of national work focusing on leadership development to assess it can link in with this at a Service level.
Becci added: “I’m very pleased with the HMICFRS report but it’s important to remember that these inspections are not a competition. They’re about rating how well each fire and rescue service is serving its community and they are an opportunity for services to learn from each other. All services can be called upon through mutual aid to help other fire and rescue services, as we did with the Whaley Bridge dam incident, so I welcome all opportunities to learn from each other to improve for our people and communities.”
A link to the full report is here: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/frs-assessment/frs-2018/Staffordshire/