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West Yorkshire 2018/19

Read more about West Yorkshire 2018/19

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

Contact HMICFRS

Overall summary

We are pleased with the performance of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service in keeping people safe and secure.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is good at providing an effective service to the public. It is good at:

  • understanding the risk of fire and other emergencies;
  • preventing fires and other risks;
  • protecting the public through fire regulation;
  • responding to fires and other emergencies; and
  • responding to national risks.

It 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 future.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is good at looking after its people. It is good in how it:

  • promotes the right values and culture;
  • gets the right people with the right skills;
  • ensures fairness and promotes diversity; and
  • manages performance and develops leaders.

Overall, we commend West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service for its performance. We are confident that it is well equipped for this to continue.

Effectiveness

How effective is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks?

Last updated 17/12/2019
Good

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. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s overall effectiveness is good.

It understands local risk and its integrated risk management plan (IRMP) aims to address local and community risks. The service’s prevention work targets those most at risk. It supplies its firefighters with accurate information, quickly. And it is good at gathering and communicating site risk information. It needs to communicate better with hard-to-reach groups. It is working to improve this.

The service is good at preventing fires and other risks. It is clear about how it prioritises its work. It has an effective safe and well programme, and prioritises visiting those most in need. It makes sure that the visits are of a good standard and that people understand the information they are given.

The service is good at safeguarding vulnerable people.

It is good at protecting the public through fire regulation. But it is aware that it needs more staff in its fire protection teams. This will mean it can respond to building consultations quicker, and better meet its targets.

The service is good at responding to fires and other emergencies. It is making improvements and communicating these well to staff. It needs to make sure that all commanders understand operational discretion.

The service is good at responding to national risks. Although it needs to make sure that operational staff can access up-to-date risk information. This includes cross-border risk information.

View the five questions for effectiveness

Efficiency

How efficient is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks?

Last updated 17/12/2019
Good

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. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s overall efficiency is good.

The service understands its financial climate. And its plans are based on realistic scenario planning. It takes into account its reduced budget and has plans to make the savings needed. This includes a procurement officer that also works with South Yorkshire FRS. This officer is able to negotiate better contracts on behalf of both services.

West Yorkshire FRS is good at allocating resources to best meet demand.

The service works with many organisations, which is bringing financial and non-financial benefits. It has a tri-service collaboration team and it has revised how it manages this, which has improved efficiency. It also plans to make further improvements.

The service has business continuity plans, but these haven’t yet been fully tested.

It generates income by sharing its stations with police and ambulance services. It plans to invest in better ICT equipment. This will make savings and improve efficiency. 

View the two questions for efficiency

People

How well does the fire and rescue service look after its people?

Last updated 17/12/2019
Good

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, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is good at looking after its people.

It has recently introduced several new policies. While it is too early to assess their effectiveness, the senior leadership team is clearly committed to developing its workforce.

The service promotes health, safety and wellbeing. A range of initiatives supports wellbeing and staff talked positively about this. The service needs to raise awareness of the support that is available after traumatic incidents. It is good at looking after its staff’s health and safety. It learns from accidents and makes changes when necessary.

The senior leadership team promote the behaviours it expects from staff well. But we were disappointed to find examples of people using inappropriate, gender-specific language.

The service understands its staffing needs. It is good at matching resources with demand.

It makes sure safe and well visits are done well. These are quality-checked regularly. And staff are given more support if needed. Inspections by the fire protection team are also quality assured.

West Yorkshire FRS makes sure staff competency levels are maintained through training.

It is working hard to improve the diversity of its workforce. This includes changing its recruitment process.

It has improved its personal development review (PDR) process. But the service needs to make sure all managers are trained in this area to avoid inconsistencies.

View the four questions for people

Key facts – 2018/19

Service Area

783 square miles

Population

2.32m people
up3% local 5 yr change

Workforce

93% wholetime firefighters
7% on-call firefighters
0.44 per 1000 population local
0.58 national level
down16% local 5 yr change
down11% national 5 yr change

Assets

38 stations
43 fire engines

Incidents

5.4 fire incidents per 1000 population local
3.3 national
1.3 non-fire incidents per 1000 population local
2.9 national
4.4 fire false alarms per 1000 population local
4.1 national

Cost

£19.98 firefighter cost per person per year
£22.08 firefighter cost per person per year (national)

Judgment criteria