Glowing report for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has received a glowing report following the Local Government Association’s Fire Peer Challenge in March.

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 has “a good relationship between the political and managerial leadership and its particular strength is its empowering culture”.

The review, known as the Fire Peer Challenge, was carried out by an eight-strong team from The Home Office, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Public Health England, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. The team was led by Chief Fire Officer Dave Curry from Hampshire and the IOW Fire and Rescue Service.

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 the overall Leadership of the Service and the Fire and Rescue Authority, the organisational culture and vision, the use of data as a means of intelligence to target activities, the contribution to the Public Health agenda and the shared Fire Control with the West Midlands Fire Service.

Rebecca Bryant, Staffordshire chief fire officer

Rebecca Bryant, 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 I am particularly proud of the findings around our culture and staff empowerment. This has ensured that our approach to using intelligence and data throughout the Service maintains a strong focus on achieving positive outcomes for the communities of Staffordshire. These are not limited to traditional Fire Service delivery but rather impact on wider health outcomes.”

Stephen Sweeney, chair of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Stephen Sweeney, chair of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Stephen Sweeney, Chairman of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said  “The Peer Review was undertaken at an opportune time for the Authority. It gives the new Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive and Chairman the opportunity to provide strong leadership and scrutiny to take the Fire Authority and Service forward with particular reference to the collaboration and integration of all blue light services.”

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