Essex Fire Service told to improve in critical report
News / Wed 27th Jul 2022 am31 07:01am
ESSEX’S fire and rescue service has been told it must improve with some areas of the service “falling short”, a new report has found.
The fire service was inspected by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.
An Essex Fire Service spokesperson said:
“We were inspected by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) as part of an inspection programme for all UK fire and rescue services.
It assesses how effective each Service is at preventing, protecting against and responding to fire and other risks, whether the Service provides value for money and how well the Service looks after its people and ensures fairness and diversity.
“Although the report has rated that we require improvement across the three areas of assessment, it has recognised that we are good at understanding fire and other risks”.
Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive of ECFRS, Rick Hylton, said: “This report doesn’t contain any surprises for us. We want to become the best fire and rescue service in the country and we know that there is a lot for us to do to get there.
“We already have plans in place to cover the areas for improvement highlighted in this report.
“We have made progress since this inspection took place and we know what we need to do.”
“I’m proud of my team. Every single one of us works hard every day to make Essex a safer place for everyone to live work and travel and we are all committed to improvement.
“You only have to look at how we have responded as a Service to the many incidents caused by the recent heatwave, and the support the public has given us, to know we are on the right path.”
One area highlighted in the report is our improvement in promoting the right values and culture to our people. This was graded as inadequate in a previous inspection.
Rick added: “We still have a long way to go but I’m pleased that the work we are doing to embed and promote the right values and culture has been recognised by the inspectors.”
You can read the full report here.
The problems in this report are the fault of the management, not the firefighters. My key takeaways from the report are: * The service still doesn’t have enough resources to meet its risk-based inspection programme. * It now has clear prevention and protection strategies based on its integrated risk management plan (IRMP), but there has been very little improvement in allocating resources to carry out the work it has identified as needing to be done. * We found that the service still lacks resource planning that clearly links to strategic priorities, so it cannot rationalise how it allocates resources to prevention, protection and response activities. * The service must review the effectiveness of its policies and do more to tackle bullying, harassment and discrimination. More needs doing to improve support for victims and to remove barriers to reporting problems. * The service should improve how it manages career pathways and make sure its processes to identify, develop and support high-potential staff and aspiring leaders are open and fair.