Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) has been praised for its work to keep communities safe from fire and to create a fair and inclusive workplace.
In its latest round of inspections Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) rated the Service as ‘Good’ across all three of its inspection criteria. This means we are Good at preventing and responding to emergencies, Good at efficiently spending our money and Good at looking after our people.
The findings represent an improvement on the last routine inspection in 2018, which suggested the Service needed to do more in how it developed its workforce and increase the diversity of the people it employs.
Roy Wilsher, HM Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services said in the report: "I am pleased with the performance of Humberside Fire and Rescue Service in keeping people safe and secure from fires and other risks. I commend the Service on the changes that it has made since our last inspection, and believe it is well placed to make continual improvements."
For this third inspection, inspectors spent several weeks at the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022, exploring areas of operational response, prevention and protection and other support functions in the Service, visiting locations, and interviewing its staff.
Welcoming the report, the Service’s Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Chris Blacksell said: “This is a comprehensive assessment that reflects positively the professionalism of our staff. I am incredibly proud of their dedication to the Service and to the communities we serve, and I would like to thank them for the hard work they do every single day.
“Our grading of ‘Good’ is testament to our staff's commitment to providing the best possible service to everyone who lives, works, and visits the Humber region. Our communities can be assured that we prepare for and respond quickly and effectively to emergency incidents, and that the service we provide is managed efficiently”.
The principal findings from the latest inspection are:
- The Service is good at involving the local community in its work, which was evidenced in local response to its Community Risk Management Plan (formally known as Integrated Risk Management Plan).
- The Service has an effective protection plan that prioritises the highest risk commercial premises in its area.
- The Service has good financial management processes and continues to effectively manage in-year budgets and plans well for the future, highlighting and mitigating against any financial risks in an appropriate way.
- The Service is working well with a range of other organisations to make sure that the service it gives the public is effective. It is using extra staff capacity, generated through a change in workforce shift patterns, in an effective way.
- Staff understand and are very complimentary about the new wellbeing services offered to them.
- Equality, diversity and inclusion are well understood throughout the Service.
- The Service has set up a training and development matrix for all staff and developed a new performance and development review process.
Chair of Humberside Fire Authority, Councillor John Briggs said: "I’m continually impressed by what the Service achieves, and I am proud of the professionalism and commitment of its staff. The report highlights Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is a great asset to all the communities it serves, local businesses and those visiting the area, and in conjunction with the Fire Authority, will continually strive to improve, even further, its value and services to the whole of the Humber region.”