HMICFRS publishes annual assessment of England’s fire and rescue services
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services Sir Thomas Winsor has published his annual assessment of England’s fire and rescue services.
APCC Lead on Fire, Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime, Matthew Ellis commented:
"A clear theme has been emerging for some time now about the urgent need for reform and modernisation of our fire and rescue services. PFCCs have seen first-hand service reform in action, how much more this is needed in the future, and with more urgency.
"I now sense a real step change and was encouraged to see both the Government’s announcement yesterday that it was launching a White Paper, setting out a clear vision and roadmap on fire reform, and today’s report from HMICFRS. Together, I hope they spell the beginning of the end for some outdated practices and attitudes, which have no place in a professional, modern service.
"I wholeheartedly pay tribute to the willingness of those that work in the service to go above and beyond to help save lives. I have seen this in my own area and am often humbled by what I see in our emergency services. The last year has also shown though, that barriers brought about by current outdated practices and culture sometimes impede the way fire services respond to help their communities.
"I fully endorse the points made by HMICFRS about the woeful lack of race and gender diversity in most fire services; this is a longstanding challenge that must be addressed. A service with a positive culture will allow talent and diversity to thrive and deliver better outcomes for local people. Strong leadership nationally and locally, backed up by greater assurance through inspections, are both also essential.
"I have seen real signs of progress and the willingness to change amongst fire and rescue services. I hope this will finally happen now without delay for the benefit of all the very committed individuals, who dedicate their lives to serving the public in fire and rescue services day in, day out and indeed for the public they serve."