Fire Service proposes new crewing system
Today (27 March), Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) has released a comprehensive set of proposals that will enable the first wholetime fire engine at each station to have a crew of five, whilst still making the significant savings required to achieve a balanced budget.
Area Commander Keith Chance, Head of Operations stated: "This set of proposals is a comprehensive plan that will bring significant benefit to the Service, staff and public of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
"Not only does it increase resilience and capacity by putting a crew of five back on to the first wholetime fire engine at each station, it also delivers a whole host of additional benefits such as
increasing support to the 31 fire engines crewed by on-call firefighters, introducing more options for staff to work differently, flexible systems and removing the need for staff to work additional hours to cover crewing deficiencies."
Importantly, the proposals mean that there are no redundancies and the plan actually increases the number of full time and part time firefighters employed by the Service by removing managerial posts.
Area Commander Chance continued: "HWFRS will soon be looking to recruit wholetime firefighters for the first time in a decade and we are keen to increase the number of applications from women and underrepresented groups. To help with this, it is important that we have modern, flexible working conditions that are attractive for people to work. These proposals not only increase the number of firefighters, they do so by offering a variety of working patterns that are not currently available."
Engagement with staff has been taking place regarding options and full consultation over the proposals with the staff and recognised trade unions started today.
Further consultation and negotiation will take place over the coming months and will seek to achieve a successful implementation to deliver the benefits.