Lancashire 2018/19Read more about Lancashire
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.
Phil Gormley, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services
HM Inspector's summary
We are very pleased with the performance of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service in keeping people safe and secure, and in particular with how it looks after its people.
We were particularly impressed by the way the service promotes the right values and culture and were pleased to grade it ‘outstanding’ in this area. It is also good at:
- getting the right people with the right skills;
- ensuring fairness and promoting diversity; and
- managing performance and developing leaders.
It provides an effective service. We saw that it is good in its:
- understanding of risk;
- prevention activities;
- use of fire regulation to protect the public;
- response to fires and emergencies locally; and
- response to national risks.
It provides an efficient and affordable service by making good use of its resources.
Overall, we commend Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service for its performance. We are confident it is well equipped for this to continue.
How effective is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks?
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s overall effectiveness is good.
The service is good at understanding the risks of fire and other emergencies. It has an up-to-date and accurate database of the risks in its area. It has invested in a new style of water tower fire engine which can put out fires more rapidly, using a smaller team of firefighters, in a way which is safer for both the firefighters and the public.
It is good at responding to fires and other emergencies. Firefighters who attend emergencies can find information about any known risks at the scene of the emergency by using the rugged computer terminals which are installed on each fire engine.
It debriefs firefighters after incidents, records any new information on its database, and informs its staff what the service has learned from the debrief.
The service is good at preventing fires, and it undertakes a broad range of prevention work on fire, road, and water safety. It targets its prevention work towards members of the public who are at the highest risk. It works closely with the police, ambulance service and local authorities to exchange information about vulnerable people, so that it can help to protect them.
It works closely with local authorities and businesses to prevent arson. It provides education information about arson to police recruits and serving detectives.
Since the Grenfell Tower fire, the service has inspected high-rise buildings in Lancashire and also in neighbouring fire and rescue service areas.
It is well prepared to respond to national risks, and has taken part in a range of exercises with the police and ambulance services to prepare for terrorist attacks. It works well with its neighbouring fire and rescue services (FRSs), and shares a control centre with three other FRSs.
How efficient is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks?
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s overall efficiency is good.
The service is good at making the best use of its resources. It is good at making the service affordable, now and in the future.
The service thoroughly understands the financial climate it operates in. It is sufficiently flexible to deal with any future financial problems. It has a strong record of making savings and has saved £18 million since 2011. The frontline savings which it has made have not significantly affected emergency cover. It has outsourced some services where this provides better value. The service uses technology to reduce costs and provide a better service. It has invested in a new style of fire engine. The sophisticated equipment on this vehicle should enable a smaller team of firefighters to put out fires more quickly, in a way which is safer for both firefighters and the public.
The service provides good value for money in its collaboration with Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Cumbria fire and rescue services at the North-West Fire Control centre in Warrington.
The service has a detailed workforce development plan. It has started to recruit wholetime firefighters for the first time in eight years. The plan aims to make sure the service will have enough staff to cover all possible emergencies.
The service has continuity plans in place, so that it can provide an uninterrupted service to the public, if extraordinary events were to affect the service’s resources.
How well does the fire and rescue service look after its people?
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is good at looking after its people.
The service’s senior leaders understand that the health and wellbeing of its staff are vital if Lancashire FRS is to provide a resilient service to the public. Lancashire FRS provides a wide range of support services, including help for problems which are not connected to work, but which can affect people’s performance at work. However, the staff do not fully understand the recent change from debriefing whole teams after events to supporting staff individually. The service has a clear health and safety policy, staff are well trained, and the service provides health and safety training for staff in specialist roles.