Derbyshire 2018/19Read more about Derbyshire
This is HMICFRS’s first annual assessment of fire and rescue services. This assessment examines the service’s effectiveness, efficiency and how well it looks after its people. It is designed to give the public information about how their local fire and rescue service is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable with other services across England.
The extent to which the service is effective at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks is good.
The extent to which the service is efficient at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks is good.
The extent to which the service looks after its people is good.
Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services
We are pleased with the performance of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) in keeping people safe and secure. But it needs to improve in some areas to give a consistently good service.
Derbyshire FRS is good at providing an effective service to the public. It is good at:
- preventing fires and other risks;
- protecting the public through fire regulation;
- responding to fires and other emergencies; and
- responding to national risks.
But it requires improvement in how it understands the risk of fire and other emergencies.
Derbyshire FRS is good in the efficiency of its services. We found it to be good at making the best use of resources. And it is good at making its services affordable now and in the future.
The service is good at looking after its people. It is outstanding at promoting the right values and culture. And it is good at getting the right people with the right skills and in how it ensures fairness and promotes diversity.
But it requires improvement to the way it manages performance and develops leaders.
Overall, we commend Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service for its performance. This provides a good foundation for improvement in the year ahead.
How effective is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks?
An effective fire and rescue service will identify and assess the full range of foreseeable fire and rescue risks its community faces. It will target its fire prevention and protection activities to those who are at greatest risk from fire. It will make sure businesses comply with fire safety legislation. When the public calls for help, the fire and rescue service should respond promptly with the right skills and equipment to deal with the incident effectively. Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service’s overall effectiveness is good.
It consults widely during the development of its integrated risk management plan (IRMP). But it needs to improve the effectiveness of how it manages risk information. The service communicates its safety information to staff well, but we found no mechanism that showed staff had read it.
The service is good at preventing fires. In particular, it targets safe and well visits towards those who are more vulnerable, and works well with its partner agencies and other organisations to prevent fires.
It is also good at protecting people from fires. It has trained its staff well in this area. It is evident that staff are working hard to reduce the burden of unwanted fire signals. The service should make sure that it is correctly identifying all high-risk premises.
Derbyshire FRS is good at responding to fires and other emergencies. In particular, it has good processes for learning from operational incidents. The service is meeting its standards on response times for the first fire engine that arrives at an incident but needs to improve times for the second. It is meeting its standards for the number of on-call fire engines available.
The service is good at responding to national risks and has recently demonstrated this ability at a number of high-profile incidents.
How efficient is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks?
An efficient fire and rescue service will manage its budget and spend money properly and appropriately. It will align its resources to its risk. It should try to keep costs down without compromising public safety. Future budgets should be based on robust and realistic assumptions. Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service’s overall efficiency is good.
The service allocates its resources well, tailoring them towards protection, prevention and response activities. Local managers have the authority to take actions that target local risks.
Derbyshire FRS has a clear understanding of the financial climate it operates in. When it makes changes in how it spends its money, it considers how this will affect risks, and makes sure the changes are in line with its IRMP.
There is a clear link between what the service does at a local level and the objectives set within the IRMP.
The service has a strong collaborative partnership with the police, which has benefitted both organisations. However, it needs to evaluate its collaborative activities to fully understand those benefits.
The combined control room with Nottinghamshire FRS has made efficiency savings for the service.
Incompatible information and communications technology (ICT) systems have limited the service’s progress. However, it has made an investment to improve this area.
Derbyshire FRS has robust continuity plans that are well tested.
How well does the fire and rescue service look after its people?
A fire and rescue service that looks after its people should be able to provide an effective service to its community. It should offer a range of services to make its communities safer. This will include developing and maintaining a workforce that is professional, resilient, skilled, flexible and diverse. The service’s leaders should be positive role models, and this should be reflected in the behaviour of the workforce. Overall, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service is good at looking after its people.
The way the service looks after its staff and their health and wellbeing, including of those who have attended traumatic incidents, is outstanding.
It is also outstanding in the way it communicates its values. The staff are proud of the service, its work and their own contribution.
The service has a good understanding of the skills and capabilities of its workforce, although it should develop a workforce plan that enables it to maintain this understanding in the future.
The development of the Joint Training Centre (JTC) with the police has enabled firefighters to train alongside their police colleagues. Recording of safety-critical training is well managed. However, the service could improve the way it records non-safety-critical training for all staff.
The grievance policy is well understood by staff. Line managers are encouraged to resolve grievances informally, if possible, and have been provided with appropriate training to allow them to do this.
Derbyshire FRS has a range of staff support networks that are regularly consulted when changes to policy are considered. The service has a diversity and inclusion strategy that is well supported by all staff. The workforce doesn’t yet reflect the diversity of the communities it serves, but recent changes to the recruitment process have increased the number of successful female applicants.
The service has recently begun an executive leadership programme to support staff who demonstrate high potential. However, this isn’t yet fully embedded.