Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has published its inspection report on Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS). TWFRS was graded as Good in all three areas inspected.
HMICFRS looked at how effectively and efficiently the Service prevents and protects the public from, and responds to, fires and other emergencies. It also examined how well they look after the people.
In its summary the HMICFRS stated: “Overall, we commend Tyne and Wear FRS for its performance. This provides a good foundation for improvement in the year ahead.”
Grades given on three areas of work
HMICFRS graded the Service on three separate areas of work:
- Effectiveness (our emergency response and services we provide to the public) Good
- Efficiency (how we manage our finances and how efficient we are) Good
- People (our culture, training and how we treat our people) Good
In particular, HMICFRS highlighted the Service for:
- Responding to fires – with one of the fastest response times in the country
- Knowing our communities – we have a good understanding of our local and community risk
- Protecting the public through fire regulation
- Providing an efficient service and making good use of our resources
- Responding to national risks
- Being good at looking after our people
- Passionate staff who are proud to serve their community
Testament to professionalism and commitment
I am pleased that HMICFRS has confirmed that we deliver a good service"TWFRS Chief Fire Officer, Chris Lowther, commented: “I am pleased that HMICFRS has confirmed that we deliver a good service – one that helps to keep the communities of Tyne and Wear safe. The fact that the Service has been independently recognized as a good service is a testament to the professionalism and commitment of everyone who works for us.
“I believe this grading is a fair reflection of our Service and has only been possible because of the teamwork that is evident across our organization.
“This is the first time in over a decade that fire and rescue services have been inspected, and it has been a very valuable process. Not only has it confirmed what we do well, but it has helped us highlight areas where we can get better.
Improving the Service for staff and public
I am very proud of the work they do every day to protect lives and ensure we deliver a professional and effective organization"“We also acknowledge that there are some areas of our Service that require further attention. We have already started to address these areas through our continuous improvement program and we are making strong progress. I am confident we will continue to improve the Service for staff and the public.
“Our best assets are our people. I am very proud of the work they do every day to protect lives and ensure we deliver a professional and effective organization.”
Delivering good service despite budget cuts
Tony Taylor, Tyne and Wear Fire Authority Chair commented: “This is a great – if not remarkable – achievement. Those of us who are close to the Service know it continues to deliver a good – if not great – service to our communities despite disproportionate cuts to our budget of £25million since 2010.
“We can only imagine how much better these grades would have been if we had benefited from a fairer funding formula. It’s a great tribute to Chris and everyone who works for the Service that their commitment and dedication to keeping the people of Tyne and Wear safe has received such independent recognition.”