London Fire Brigade ‘performing well', reports Audit Commission
The assessment looks at two key areas - managing performance and use of resources. The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, which runs London Fire Brigade, was judged to be 'performing well' in both of these - making it one of the highest scoring fire authorities in the country.
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: "The assessment process used by the Audit Commission this year has been much tougher than in previous years so I am really pleased that we have been recognised as 'performing well' as a fire and rescue service.
"This report is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of all our staff and we will continue to work to deliver an effective, efficient and flexible fire and rescue service that not only responds to emergencies but helps to prevent them in the first place."
According to the report the Brigade has a good understanding of the fire risks faced by London's communities and works hard to reduce them. In particular it recognises what the Brigade is doing to target its prevention and protection work where it will have the biggest impact - at those most vulnerable and at risk.
The report notes that compared to the previous year injuries caused by fires fell, as did the number of deaths from serious and accidental fires. Hoax calls fell by 62 per cent after the introduction of a call challenge system in 2004, while the introduction of an Arson Task Force has seen a reduction in the number of arson incidents from 20,800 in 2004/5 to 12,429 last year.
Assessors praised the Brigade's response to emergencies and noted that it is improving attendance times. Operational training and development programmes were found to be excellent, ensuring fire crews have the right skills to deal with the wide range of emergencies they face.
London Fire Brigade is at the forefront of equality and diversity work within the fire and rescue service and the report found that the Brigade "works hard to attract people from across the wide range of communities it serves and is successful in doing so."
Its strong financial leadership and financial management were also praised, with the Brigade found to be 'providing value for money.' Performance management, its work with partner agencies and its plans to continue improving the way its runs services were also highlighted.
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