Our Safety Plan for 2020–2024 sets out our priorities for protecting Staffordshire over the next four years. We look to build on the success of our previous plans, whilst recognising the challenges we have yet to face. We have been able to deliver an effective and efficient service during the last three years due to good financial planning and the implementation of numerous changes across the organisation. We are one of the best performing fire and rescue services in the country, with a positive culture of embracing change and looking after our people.
We have worked hard to transform our service and the way we operate to ensure we continue to deliver a first-class emergency response to fires and other emergencies. This transformation will need to continue as public sector finances are set to carry on reducing over the lifetime of this Safety Plan.
The number of deaths and injuries caused by fire have fallen in recent years. As such, we will continue to invest in proactive activities that help prevent fires and other emergencies happening in the first place. However, we cannot be complacent as demand on the fire and rescue service has started to rise, both locally and nationally, with new risks emerging, including terrorism and incidents caused by extreme weather. With these comes increased pressure on our people and our resources. The fire safety work we do with building owners and other partners has increased in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire.
We continually need to review all aspects of the work we do and how we do it. Consideration of new technologies, equipment and training will allow us to explore alternative approaches to how we deliver an effective and efficient service. To meet future demands we need to make sure that we continue to invest in our people, their development and wellbeing, as they are our most valuable asset.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services recently rated us ‘good’ at making best use of our resources and providing an effective service. We were also rated ‘good’ at looking after our people and ‘outstanding’ at promoting the right culture and values.
Our new governance arrangements, under the Staffordshire Commissioner, also offer us new opportunities to collaborate more with other emergency services and partner organisations. Over the next four years, we will actively explore different ways of working where this will help reduce the burden on other public sector services, provide greater value for money and increase public confidence by making our communities safer.
The issues we are likely to face in the years ahead further reinforces the need to work together with our communities, our people, businesses, and many other partners to continue delivering an excellent service in what are likely to be the most challenging times we have faced.
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