Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has statutory responsibility for the inspection of police forces, and since July 2017 fire and rescue services in England and Wales.
HMICFRS independently assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of fire and rescue services – in the public interest.
Cleveland Fire Brigade were in tranche three of the inspection programme and there were a number of elements to the inspection with our fieldwork week being completed in July 2019.
Each Fire Rescue service is given an overall grading in each of three key areas:
· EFFECTIVENESS – how effective we are at protecting our communities from fire and other risk
· EFFICIENCY – how efficient we are at doing this in terms of our resources
· PEOPLE – how well we look after our people
Cleveland Fire Brigade were officially rated GOOD in all three areas.
Our effectiveness rating has been achieved through our good understanding of local and national risks, our targeted approach to prevention that delivers three times more Safer Homes Visits per head of the population than the national average, and our support to business safety. The Report highlights our excellent emergency response service, specifically to primary fires which are the fastest overall response times in the country.
With regards to efficiency the inspectors noted that we have managed our budget through good financial planning, good partnership working and good use of external funding and innovative ways of generating income.
Being rated good in the people area reflects our commitment to put staff first. We have well embedded health, safety and wellbeing policies, a clear focus on staff training and development. But we recognise the need to increase the diversity of our workforce to better reflect our communities.
HM Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services Phil Gormley said: “I am pleased to report that Cleveland Fire Brigade performed well in each of the main areas of our inspection. This is also impressive given that the brigade has faced some of the largest cuts to its government funding.
This is an excellent performance from the brigade – the people of Cleveland can be confident that they are being well-served.”