A glowing report of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is published today, 17th April. The report follows an Operational Assessment and Peer Challenge conducted earlier this year.
The report praises the Service’s “very positive and unique culture” which “drives improvement and change across the organisation and ensures that everyone is engaged.”
It concludes that Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is “a very high performing service and there is enthusiasm and confidence for the future.”
The review, known as the Fire Peer Challenge, was carried out between 26th February and 1st March by a six-strong team of peer assessors from Devon & Somerset, Cheshire, and Cleveland Fire and Rescue Services, Surrey County Council and the Local Government Association.
The aim of the team was to be a “critical friend” to help the organisation with their improvement and learning. Their evaluation included interviews, observations and focus groups with elected members, officers, staff, front-line firefighters, stakeholders, and partner agencies.
The key areas reviewed were culture, organisational capacity, leadership and governance, response, training and development and protection.
The peer team also considered call management and incident support, community risk management, prevention and health and safety.
Peter Dartford, Chief Fire Officer/ Chief Executive said: “I am delighted with the outcome of our Operational Peer Review as I believe it provides an objective assessment of the significant achievements of our organisation and rightly highlights the fact that we continue to be high performing.
“However, we are not complacent and we will reflect on the recommendations made by the review team and use their comments to ensure we continue to work effectively with local people and our partners to deliver high quality services to the communities of Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire.
“The review was not an inspection and participation is voluntary. However, the feedback we have received will be invaluable as we continue to do all we can to make a positive difference to the lives and well-being of local people.”
Among the Service’s strengths identified in the report is its “infectious and energetic commitment to change and transformation” and how highly it is regarded by its partners. One example highlighted is its involvement in a multi-agency initiative in Stoke-on-Trent to find ways for statutory and voluntary bodies to work together to help people “live their lives well.” The Service’s vision in planning ahead for assumed budgetary cuts is also praised along with its “empowered, passionate and focused” training department.
Peter Dartford went on to explain that in addition to making recommendations for potential improvement, the report also highlighted a number of areas of notable practice, details of which would be made available to all other fire and rescue services.
The full report is available on Staffordshire Fire and Rescue’s website at: http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/2574.asp