The assessment into many aspects of HWFRS was led by a Local Government Association review team.
Councillor Derek W Prodger MBE, Chair of Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority, said: “I am delighted that the assessment has shown that our fire service is in such a strong position. Whilst there will undoubtedly be challenges ahead I am confident that we will continue to provide an excellent fire and rescue service for our local communities.”
Some of the other key findings from the HWFRS assessment were:
- the clear commitment to health and safety and its focus on continuing improvement, which ensures that all aspects of safety and safe systems are well embedded at every level
- the investment in operational training and development focused on key risk areas, including capital investment in new facilities such as the strategic training facilities to support and improve training capacity
- in those service areas that have undergone significant change and restructuring, staff are keen, involved and highly motivated
Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates said: “Overall, the conclusions of this assessment are very positive. The report notes that we benefit from highly competent and enthusiastic staff, which undoubtedly has a significant effect on the service we deliver to the public. However, we are never complacent and we will continue to look for opportunities for further improvement.”
The report noted some areas where improvements could be made - these include:
- the need to ensure close and continued management of the risks associated with financial planning in the light of current and future budget reductions,
- the need to ensure that the management of major projects is mainstreamed into ‘business as usual,’
- the need to fully embed Member involvement and public consultation in strategic planning and decision making
- The OpA review process has also identified several areas where HWFRS and Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service could work closer together. These include work areas such as: harmonising policies and procedures, sharing expertise and knowledge, improved firefighter protection and enhanced public safety. To read the full list of potential areas for collaboration and full report.
Following the FRA meeting today Members agreed to establish how collaborative working could be delivered with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service in the future.