HWFRS response to Winsor Report on the State of English Fire and Rescue Services
Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) welcomes Sir Thomas Winsor’s Annual Assessment of Fire and Rescue Services in England 2019.
The report is the first to give an overview of all 45 English Fire and Rescue Services and highlights a number of key recommendations to move the sector forward.
Roger Phillips, Chairman of the Fire Authority said: “We welcome the report and broadly support the recommendations Sir Tom makes, particularly in clarifying the role of the Service and firefighters, as well as the need to reform national employment and negotiation arrangements.
“In respect to the recommendation around the operational independence of chief fire officers, Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority has always worked collaboratively with its chief fire officer, recognising their role as our senior professional advisor to the Authority, whilst at the same time not compromising their independence.”
“Furthermore, at a local level, the Service already has a well-established code of conduct and we have recently reviewed our core values - something which was widely consulted upon and developed in conjunction with our staff.”
Nathan Travis, Chief Fire Officer of HWFRS said: “Over the last few years the Service has had to make some difficult decisions to enable us to maintain our effectiveness and efficiency with the limited resources available to us. But I believe our HMI inspection report demonstrates that we’ve been able to achieve that difficult balance without compromising the high quality and sustainable services we deliver to our communities.
“And although our HMI report highlights that we still have improvements to make, our overall performance is comparable to many other services throughout England, even in the face of the challenging environment we have found ourselves in.
“It is also important to note that although the final outcomes of the Grenfell inquiry may well place more even responsibility on fire and rescue services in the future, I am confident that the commitment and professionalism of our staff and managers will help us to meet those challenges effectively.”