The latest report has graded BFRS “Requires Improvement” across the three pillars of the inspectorate’s methodology, which are effectiveness, efficiency, and people.
The Service has improved its effectiveness in responding to fires since the last full inspection report and has been graded as “Good” at responding to major and multi-agency incidents
The report also recognises the progress made by BFRS so far to address the resourcing recommendations, which were initially issued in August 2021.
‘The service has worked hard to address the cause of concern from our 2019 inspection about whether its resources can meet its unique model of operational response. It has increased its capacity to meet its public safety plan and so this cause of concern has been closed.’
The full report can be accessed via the HMICFRS website.
On initial response to the report The Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Jason Thelwell has said
‘BFRS has come a long way in the short period since our first inspection, and this has been against a continuously difficult financial landscape, during a global pandemic which has tested us all. This has only been possible because of the excellent people who work at BFRS, who strive to do their best for this Service, every day.’
Matt Parr our HM Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services echo’s this sentiment in the HMI summary.
‘I also want to recognise the disruption caused by the pandemic.’ ‘…Since there was a gap of only 18 months between our first and latest inspections and much of the intervening time was overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it isn’t surprising that many of our findings are like those in our first report.’
The CFO goes on to say.
‘Whilst the pressures of Covid-19 have not diminished and will continue to demand our time and resourcing when supporting our partners to deliver the accelerated Covid-19 vaccination booster programme, we will take the opportunity to extract the learning from this report, and if we haven’t done so already, look at ways in which we can address them in our service priorities and objectives.
It is now vital we digest and review the report thoroughly. The full report will be presented to the Fire Authority (FA) in the New Year, with a refreshed action plan.’