Skip to content
Promoting improvements
in policing and fire & rescue
services to make everyone safer

Humberside 2021/22

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 27/07/2022
Good

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service’s overall effectiveness is good.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service was good in its 2018/19 assessment.

The service is improving in many of the areas of effectiveness we inspected. The areas for improvement that we highlighted in our 2018 inspection have been satisfactorily addressed.

The service has identified and assessed a range of fire and rescue-related risks that could affect its communities. It has used a range of information and has consulted widely and well to produce a comprehensive integrated risk management plan (IRMP). The information in the plan allows the service to continually review its promise to the public and assess whether its resources are aligned to risk. The plan highlights the most important risks and links seamlessly with the service’s prevention, protection and response strategies.

Staff throughout the organisation can easily access the information they need to help prevent or mitigate risks to the public and themselves. Information on risks is regularly kept up to date when staff are carrying out audits, visits and inspections.

The service has used the findings and recommendations of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry to assess and mitigate the risk relating to high-rise buildings in its area. The necessary building risk review work has been carried out and all high-rise buildings have been audited. Where necessary, operational plans have been put in place to support the safety of the public and firefighters.

We were pleased to see that the service has improved the way it carries out fire protection work. With more skilled personnel and continuing investment in training operational staff, it is meeting its targets for its risk-based inspection programme.

The service has prioritised its resources in a way that enables it to respond to a wide range of incidents in its area. It trains its staff well in incident command. And it works closely with other fire services and local organisations in a way that supports giving the best possible response to any large scale or multi-agency incident, including when responding across its borders with other services.

Questions for Effectiveness

1

How effective is the FRS at understanding the risk of fire and other emergencies?

Good

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is good at understanding risk.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service was good in its 2018/19 assessment.

Each fire and rescue service should identify and assess all foreseeable fire and rescue-related risks that could affect its communities. Arrangements should be put in place through the service’s prevention, protection and response capabilities to prevent or mitigate these risks for the public.

We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the service’s performance in this area.

The service is good at identifying risks within its community

The service has robust arrangements in place to identify an appropriate range of risks and threats after a thorough IRMP planning process. When assessing risk, it has considered relevant information collected from a broad range of internal and external sources and data sets. The service has taken an effective approach to understanding and building its risk profile using data.

We found that the service was using data in an effective way to analyse historical trends. This helps it determine whether certain types of incident are increasing or decreasing.

The service uses robust data from fire fatalities, accidental dwelling fires and risk identified at commercial properties to define the level of community risk. Encouragingly, it regularly updates the data used to assess this risk, to make sure that it is taking appropriate action in the community.

The service is good at consulting about its plans

When appropriate, the service has consulted and undertaken a wide range of constructive dialogue with communities and others such as local health authorities to both understand the risk and explain how it intends to mitigate it.

The service has a Digital Marketing Plan that aims to increase its use of social media platforms to communicate with the public. This use of digital media has enabled the service to increase the number of responses it receives from consultations despite the pandemic. For the latest consultation on its IRMP, the service received around 1,500 responses, a significant increase compared to previous consultations.

In some cases, this engagement has resulted in a change to the IRMP. For example, following the internal consultation on the IRMP, the service changed the location of its water rescue response team.

The service is continually monitoring the effects of its work on the risk in the area by using interactive dashboards and evaluating interventions. This allows it to analyse results and data to understand where changes may be necessary. Where priorities change due to a change in the risk, the service will move resources to that area to offer support where it is needed.

We found that the service had invested significantly in its website, which as a result is now easier for the public to use. All the content on the site can be made more accessible through cloud-based assistive software. This allows users to customise the content to a form that they find easy to read and understand – in terms of both the layout and the language used.

The service has an effective IRMP

After assessing relevant risks, the service has recorded its findings in an easily understood IRMP. This plan describes how prevention, protection and response activity is to be effectively resourced to mitigate or reduce the risks and threats the community faces, both now and in the future.

The service is using local, regional and national data to assess risk in its area relating to fire and other emergencies. It links its consideration of climate change to scientific assumptions based on global research. And it engages with other local agencies in the local resilience forum (LRF) to help it understand changing risks and monitor these in the community risk register.

The content of the IRMP is clearly linked to the service’s strategic plan. It offers full explanation of the end results it expects its activity to lead to and how it plans to measure these.

The service effectively uses its IRMP to review its response standards and assess what resources it needs in all areas of its work to better serve its communities.

The service has effective systems in place to gather, maintain and share risk information

The service routinely collects and updates information about the people, places and threats it has identified as being at greatest risk. This includes firefighters gathering information on risks such as hoarding, oxygen use and airflow mattresses as they carry out safe and well visits. There are also effective arrangements in place for businesses who supply oxygen to residents in Humberside to send updated data to the service every week so that records are continuously updated.

Wholetime operational crews routinely gather site-specific risk information. There is a process in place to make sure that they make prompt updates to this with the latest information by using mobile data terminals. The information gathered is quality assured both by the service’s management and a specialist central department.

We were surprised to find that on-call staff do not routinely visit sites in their local area to collect risk information. The service should make sure that it has robust arrangements in place for on-call staff to become familiar with their local risk.

This information is readily available for the service’s prevention, protection and response staff, which enables it to identify, reduce and mitigate risk effectively. For example, all risk information is added to the community safety database, which all staff have access to. Mobile data terminals are the main way that information on risk is communicated to operational crews. We were pleased to see that the risk information is made available to crews in a timely and effective manner. But the service should do more to make sure that its mobile data terminals are more reliable.

The service is proactive in sharing risk information to make sure there is clear understanding across the organisation

The service records and communicates risk information effectively. It also routinely updates risk assessments and uses feedback from local and national operational activity to inform its planning assumptions.

We found that the service had processes in place to support a common understanding of risk across the organisation. A database is used to record all risk, whether for commercial properties, domestic properties or specific to a person. The data is made available to all personnel, either through the mobile data terminals or the Community Fire Risk Management Information System.

The service has a sophisticated approach to using data and analysis. The performance and data team has built a dynamic dashboard it uses to identify any changing or emerging trends, and makes a presentation to the service once a week on these. This allows the service to adapt accordingly, and use resources appropriate for the risk that is apparent.

The service has responded well to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry

During this round of inspections, we sampled how each fire and rescue service has responded to the recommendations and learning from Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower fire inquiry.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service has responded positively and proactively to learning from this tragedy. At the time of our inspection, the service had assessed the risk of each high-rise building in its service area using prevention, protection and response teams and working with building owners, including local authority partners.

It has carried out a fire safety audit and collected and passed relevant risk information to its prevention, protection and response teams about buildings identified as high risk and all high-rise buildings that have cladding similar to the cladding installed on Grenfell Tower.

2

How effective is the FRS at preventing fires and other risks?

Good

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is good at preventing fires and other risks.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service was good in its 2018/19 assessment.

Fire and rescue services must promote fire safety, including giving fire safety advice. To identify people at greatest risk from fire, services should work closely with other organisations in the public and voluntary sector, and with the police and ambulance services. They should provide intelligence and risk information with these other organisations when they identify vulnerability or exploitation.

Innovative practice

The service has an effective partnership with local health bodies to provide a falls response team. This is a team of people from throughout the organisation who work on an ‘on-call’ basis. It has a significant impact on the local health situation. The team helps more people live in their homes for longer, reducing demand on local health and care services.

We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the service’s performance in this area.

The service’s prevention plan is clearly linked to its IRMP

The service’s prevention plan is clearly linked to the risks identified in its IRMP. The prevention, protection and enforcement plan clearly prioritises those who are most at risk within the area. Prevention does not take place in isolation: it is a thread running through all of the organisation’s work.

The service works well with other organisations on prevention, and it passes on relevant information when needed. Information is used to adjust planning assumptions and direct activity between the service’s prevention, protection and response functions. For example, as part of Hull City Council’s community safety partnership, the service has worked with some of the city’s growing ethnic minority communities to raise awareness of fire safety.

The pandemic has affected its prevention activities

We considered how the service had adapted its prevention work during our COVID-19 specific inspection in August 2020. At that time, we found it had adapted its public prevention work appropriately. Since then, we are encouraged to find that the service has continued to adapt well to the evolving situation. The service reacted quickly following requests from other local bodies to help with the local COVID-19 response. And it continued to carry out safe and well visits to the people most at risk in the community.

The service effectively targets its prevention activity

Prevention activity is clearly prioritised using a risk-based approach towards people most at risk from fire and other emergencies. For example, the service has developed a community safety handbook for each station which highlights the risk factors in the area and the ‘make every contact count’ approach. It provides specialist equipment which can be fitted to a property to make sure that it is safe from fire. And the service has prioritised properties that it would not be possible to reach within its target attendance time frames. These are offered the opportunity of a safe and well visit.

The service provides a range of interventions that it adapts to the level of risk in its communities. It carries out full safe and well visits, making sure that any vulnerabilities found are referred to appropriate authorities. The service follows the National Fire Chiefs Council community safety calendar to make sure local people are aware of the risks they face in everyday life. And it evaluates its community safety activities to determine whether it is reaching the right people with these.

Staff are well trained in carrying out safe and well checks

Staff, including those on fire stations, told us they have the right skills and confidence to carry out safe and well visits. Checks are carried out by both wholetime and on-call personnel throughout the service. These checks cover an appropriate range of hazards that can put vulnerable people at greater risk from fire and other emergencies.

The service responds well to safeguarding concerns

Staff we interviewed told us about occasions when they had identified safeguarding problems. They told us they feel confident and trained to act appropriately and promptly.

We found good evidence of staff understanding how to refer vulnerable people for safeguarding following both safe and well visits and operational incidents.

The service works well with other organisations to reduce the number of fires and other emergencies

The service works with a wide range of other organisations such as the police, local councils, Hull City Tigers Trust, Jobcentre Plus and clinical commissioning groups to prevent fires and other emergencies.

We found good evidence that it routinely refers people at greatest risk to other organisations which may be better able to meet their needs. Arrangements are in place to receive referrals from others such as adult social care, the police, and members of the public. The service acts appropriately on the referrals it receives. It assesses all referrals and considers what the appropriate approach would be in each case.

The service routinely exchanges information with other public sector organisations about people and groups at greatest risk. It uses the information to challenge planning assumptions and target prevention activity. For example, the service works with Humberside Police to target anti-social behaviour and arson.

The service has an effective partnership with local health bodies to provide a falls response team. This is a team of people from throughout the organisation who work on an ‘on-call’ basis. It has a significant impact on the local health situation. The team helps more people live in their homes for longer, reducing demand on local health and care services.

The service proactively addresses fire-setting behaviour

The service has a range of suitable and effective interventions to target and educate people of different ages who show signs of fire-setting behaviour. The prevention plan sets out how the service will collaborate with the police, local authorities and other organisations to reduce the frequency and impact of arson in Humberside.

When appropriate, it routinely shares information with other partners to support the prosecution of arsonists. Following arson problems in the Gower Park area of Hull, the service worked with the local police to identify the people responsible for these and make appropriate interventions. This resulted in a dramatic reduction in arson cases.

The service quality assures and evaluates its prevention activities

The service has good evaluation tools in place. These tools measure how effective its work is so that it knows what works, and that its communities get prevention activity that meets their needs.

We found that the service was regularly reviewing its plans to determine and revise priorities. It has evaluated the end results of its safe and well visits to establish whether any of the people visited have gone on to experience a fire. Lessons learned from this process have contributed to developing the service’s new priorities.

Prevention activities take account of feedback from the public, other organisations, and other parts of the service.

The service has also evaluated some of its partnerships with other organisations to make sure that they are still effective. Feedback is used by the service to inform its planning assumptions and amend future activity, so it is focused on what the community needs and what works.

3

How effective is the FRS at protecting the public through fire regulation?

Good

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is good at protecting the public through fire regulation.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service required improvement in its 2018/19 assessment.

All fire and rescue services should assess fire risks in certain buildings and, when necessary, require building owners to comply with fire safety legislation. Each service decides how many assessments it does each year. But it must have a locally determined, risk-based inspection programme for enforcing the legislation.

Areas for improvement

  • The service should make sure it allocates enough resources to respond effectively and in time to statutory building control consultations.
  • The service should assure itself that its use of enforcement powers prioritises the highest risks and includes proportionate activity to reduce risk.

We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the service’s performance in this area.

The service’s protection plan is clearly linked to its IRMP

The service’s protection plan is clearly linked to the risk it has identified in its IRMP.

Staff across the service are involved in this activity, with information effectively exchanged as needed. For example, station-based staff have been given specific fire safety training, which enables them to carry out fire protection audits at non-complex premises with a high risk of fire. If these highlight a risk that is beyond their level of competency to address, there are systems in place to refer the matter to the protection department for specialist intervention or advice.

Information is in turn used to adjust planning assumptions and direct activity between the service’s protection, prevention and response functions. This means resources are properly aligned to risk.

The risk-based inspection programme aligns activity to risk

The service’s risk-based inspection programme is focused on the service’s highest‑risk buildings.

We found that the service was using a range of data to make sure it is inspecting the properties that are at highest risk. Specialist protection personnel assess the highest-risk premises, while those at lower risk are assessed by appropriately trained response staff. This allows the service to engage with a larger range of premises.

The audits we reviewed were completed in the timescales the service has set itself.

The service has carried out fire safety audits at high-rise buildings, including those with high-risk cladding

Audits have been carried out at all high-rise buildings within the service area and it has identified those buildings that use cladding that is similar to the cladding installed on Grenfell Tower. Information gathered during these audits is made available to response teams and control operators, enabling them to respond more effectively in an emergency.

At the time of our inspection, the service had assessed the risk of each high-rise building in its service area using prevention, protection and response teams and working with building owners, including local authority partners.

The service completes audits to a high standard

We reviewed a range of audits of different premises across the service. This included audits as part of the service’s risk-based inspection programme, after fires at premises where fire safety legislation applies, where enforcement action had been taken and at high-rise, high-risk buildings.

The audits we reviewed were completed to a high standard in a consistent, systematic way, and in line with the service’s policies. Relevant information from the audits is made available to operational teams and control room operators.

The service carries out proportionate quality assurance of protection activity

Quality assurance of protection activity takes place in a proportionate way. The service has a QA framework in place and specialist officers do dip sampling of completed audits to make sure the process is being carried out effectively.

Some staff who carry out the lower risk audits told us they lacked confidence in doing this. The service should make sure that its operational crews feel fully supported in carrying out fire protection audits.

The service has good evaluation tools in place to measure the effectiveness of its activity and to make sure all sections of its communities get appropriate access to protection services that meet their needs.

The service takes appropriate enforcement and prosecution action

The service consistently uses its full range of enforcement powers, and when appropriate, prosecutes those who don’t comply with fire safety regulations.

It recently carried out a prosecution where people were found to be sleeping in a premises with a lack of fire safety design. This led to a significant fine for the offender, who was also required to pay the service’s court costs.

In the year to 31 March 2021, the service issued 6 alteration notices, 65 informal notifications, 8 enforcement notices, 6 prohibition notices and undertook 1 prosecution, which was the only one completed in the last 4 years from 2017 to 2021.

We were disappointed to find that some premises whose use is prohibited had not been revisited in line with policy, due to competing priorities. The service should make sure that the highest-risk premises are revisited in line with its policy.

The service has increased the size of its protection team to meet the requirements of its risk-based inspection programme

The service has enough qualified and accredited protection staff to meet the requirements of the service’s risk-based inspection programme. Since the last inspection, where this was highlighted as an area for improvement, the service has effectively employed and trained staff to appropriate levels. This enables the service to provide the range of audit and enforcement activity needed, both now and in the future.

Following the area for improvement issued in the previous inspection, we were pleased to see that there are now enough staff on duty 24 hours a day to deal with any protection issues that may arise out of normal office hours.

The service works effectively with other agencies to regulate fire safety

The service works closely with other enforcement agencies to regulate fire safety and routinely exchanges risk information with them.

It has signed agreements with local housing providers and the local environmental health service. This enables joint inspections to be carried out. If enforcement action is needed, then the most appropriate body will carry this out.

The service doesn’t always respond to building consultations in time

The service doesn’t always respond to building consultations on time, so doesn’t consistently meet its statutory responsibility to comment on fire safety arrangements at new and altered buildings. In the year to 31 March 2021 the service managed to respond to 85.2 percent of building control consultations within their allotted time frame.

The service works proactively with local businesses

The service proactively engages with local businesses and other organisations to encourage compliance with fire safety legislation. This is done mainly through visits to premises and information on the service’s website. The protection strategy clearly states that this is the bedrock of how to help businesses improve their fire safety compliance. Crews on fire stations are now trained in visiting businesses during their day-to-day routine, and have clear targets for this. This is helping the service engage with many high-risk premises beyond those that are audited by specialist staff.

The service’s new unwanted fire signal policy is effective

An effective risk-based approach is in place to manage the number of unwanted fire signals. In 2019 the service introduced a ‘call challenge’ approach at first contact, where callers are asked to confirm that the alert is not a known false alarm. It gets significantly fewer calls because of this work. In the year to 31 March 2021 the service received 2,746 automatic fire signals, which is a reduction of 738 compared to the same period the previous year. The service did not send a response to 33.3 percent of all automatic fire signals in the year to 31 March 2021. Fewer unwanted calls mean that fire engines are available to respond to a genuine incident rather than responding to a false one. It also reduces the risk to the public if fewer fire engines travel at high speed on the roads. The service has a robust approach to the premises that produce the most unwanted fire signals. Through charging these, the service has been able to reinvest in its protection department.

4

How effective is the FRS at responding to fires and other emergencies?

Good

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is good at responding to fires and other emergencies.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service was good in its 2018/19 assessment.

Fire and rescue services must be able to respond to a range of incidents such as fires, road traffic collisions and other emergencies within their areas.

Areas for improvement

  • The service should make sure its mobile data terminals are reliable so that firefighters can readily access up-to-date risk information.
  • The service should make sure it has an effective system for learning from operational incidents.

We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the service’s performance in this area.

The service has modelled its risk and set its response standard based on this

The service’s response strategy is linked to the risks identified in its IRMP. Its fire engines and response staff, as well as its working patterns, are designed and located to enable the service to respond flexibly to fires and other emergencies with the appropriate resources.

For example, the service has effectively modelled risk to help it decide where to base some of its specialist response functions. This can be seen at the station at Immingham, where the risk relating to domestic fires is lower than the risk relating to commercial fires. For this reason, the service’s technical rescue and foam units, which are more relevant to commercial fires, are operated from this station.

The service is meeting its response standards

There are no national response standards of performance for the public. But the service has set out its own response standards in its IRMP. It has based its response standards on the risk of domestic fire. The standards require that the first fire engine attends within the following time frames:

  • high-risk areas – 8 minutes
  • medium-risk areas – 12 minutes
  • low-risk areas – 20 minutes.

The service consistently meets its standards. Home Office data shows that in the year to 31 March 2021 the service’s response time to primary fires was 8 minutes and 37 seconds. This is faster than the average for predominantly rural services.

The availability of fire engines in Humberside is good

To support its response strategy, the service aims to have 100 percent of wholetime fire engines available on 100 percent of occasions. The service consistently meets this standard. But the service has a high number of on-call stations, which find it more difficult to reach this standard. Data shows that the service is achieving an availability standard for on-call stations on 84.3 percent of occasions against targets of 95 percent first fire engine and 80 percent second fire engine.

Incident commanders are well trained

The service has well trained incident commanders who are assessed regularly and properly. The service makes sure that all its commanders are externally accredited to national standards throughout the levels of the organisation. This enables the service to safely, assertively and effectively manage the whole range of incidents that it could face, from small and routine ones to complex multi‑agency incidents.

As part of our inspection, we interviewed incident commanders from across the service. The incident commanders we interviewed are familiar with risk assessing, decision-making and recording information at incidents in line with national best practice, as well as the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles (JESIP).

Fire control should be more involved with training and exercising

We are pleased to see the service’s control staff integrated into the service’s command, training, and assurance activity.

We are, however, disappointed to find that the service’s control staff aren’t always included in the service’s exercise and debrief activity. The service should make sure that fire control staff are routinely invited to attend debriefs and exercises.

Fire control can provide fire survival guidance to multiple callers

The control room staff we interviewed are confident they could provide fire survival guidance to many callers simultaneously. This was identified as learning for fire services after the Grenfell Tower fire. Any overflow calls can effectively be passed to Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire or Norfolk FRSs and vice versa. Control has good systems in place for exchanging real-time risk information with incident commanders, other supporting fire and rescue services and other organisations participating in the response. The service also has systems which allow both fire control and the command support unit to view and update live documents, such as evacuation plans for high-rise buildings. Maintaining good situational awareness enables the service to communicate effectively with the public, providing people with accurate and tailored advice.

Risk information is good and is accessible to all staff

We sampled a range of risk information associated with several properties (at medium to very high risk) and temporary risk such as large events. The sample included what is in place for firefighters responding to incidents at high-risk, high-rise buildings and what information is held by fire control.

The information we reviewed was up to date and detailed. It could be easily accessed and understood by staff. Encouragingly, it had been completed with input from the service’s prevention, protection and response functions when appropriate. However, it was reported that mobile data terminals on fire engines can be slow and unreliable.

The service’s evaluation of its operational performance is too narrow

As part of the inspection, we reviewed a range of emergency incidents and training events. These included domestic fires, large commercial fires and road traffic collisions. While the service has a debrief policy in place and we found examples of effective debriefing, we were surprised at the narrow range of incidents being debriefed.

The service would benefit from reviewing its debriefing policy to make sure that it learns from a broader range of operational incidents.

The service could do more to assure itself that all staff understand national operational guidance

The service should assure itself that all staff understand national operational guidance. For example, we found that some staff were not familiar enough with new guidance for breathing apparatus control or sectorisation within incident command.

We are encouraged to see the service is contributing towards, and acting on, learning from other fire and rescue services or operational learning gathered from other emergency service partners. Relevant learning is routinely noted and can be distributed throughout the service using its learning and competency recording system. Every person in the organisation has access to the system and significant learning events can be placed on the front page. The service also reviews its policies if it is notified of nationally significant events through national operational learning.

The service is good at communicating to the public about ongoing incidents

The service has good systems in place to inform the public about ongoing incidents and help keep them safe during and after incidents. It is encouraging to see that the service can effectively manage its communications to the public depending on the size and complexity of an incident and the message that it needs to convey. It is able to do this both through social media and its website.

5

How effective is the FRS at responding to major and multi-agency incidents?

Good

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is good at responding to major and multi‑agency incidents.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service was good in its 2018/19 assessment.

All fire and rescue services must be able to respond effectively to multi-agency and cross-border incidents. This means working with other fire and rescue services (known as intraoperability) and emergency services (known as interoperability).

We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the service’s performance in this area.

The service is well prepared for major and multi-agency incidents

The service has effectively anticipated and considered the reasonably foreseeable risks and threats it may face. These risks are listed in both local and national risk registers as part of its IRMP planning.

We found that the service had plans in place for about 30 upper tier COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazards) sites and 25 lower tier sites. These form part of broader local arrangements overseen by Humber Emergency Planning Service. The service has also put in place response plans for risks such as flooding and waste fires.

It is also familiar with the significant risks that could be faced by neighbouring fire and rescue services that it might reasonably be asked to respond to in an emergency. These include all risks that fall within 10 kilometres of the borders of its area. Firefighters have access to risk information from neighbouring services, which is available on mobile data terminals.

The service can respond well to a major or multi-agency incident

We reviewed the arrangements the service has in place to respond to different major incidents, including counter terrorism and COMAH incidents. The staff we spoke to felt prepared for most multi-agency incidents. But there was some confusion around expectations for responding to a terrorist attack, although all staff have been trained in this. The service should assure itself that all staff fully understand their responsibilities when responding to such events as a non-specialist responder.

The service works well with other fire services

The service supports other fire and rescue services responding to emergency incidents and is well prepared to do this. For example, the fire control function is part of a four-service collaboration. The service can mobilise resources in any of the services of Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire or Norfolk, and vice versa. The services regularly test these arrangements by covering for each other during weekly training activity. This makes sure that there is no interruption in service when a partner mobilises another’s resources. It is intraoperable with these services and can form part of a multi-agency response.

We found that the service had arrangements in place to monitor national and multi‑agency radio channels, and that this is done regularly. There are also arrangements in place to mobilise national assets if required.

The service has a cross-border exercise plan

The service has a cross-border exercise plan with neighbouring fire and rescue services so that they can work together effectively to keep the public safe. The plan includes the risks of major events at which the service could foreseeably provide support or request assistance from neighbouring services. We were encouraged to see that feedback from these exercises is used to inform risk information and service plans.

Operational commanders have a good understanding of interoperability principles

The incident commanders we interviewed had been trained in and were familiar with the JESIP.

The service could provide us with strong evidence that it consistently follows these principles. For example, they are included in the incident command training and subsequent reaccreditation that staff carry out. There are also online learning modules to maintain understanding of JESIP. These are compulsory and completed by incident commanders every year.

The service has good arrangements in place to work with partners

The service has good arrangements in place to respond to emergencies with other partners that make up the Humberside LRF.

The service is a valued partner in the forum. The chief fire officer chairs it, and officers from the service participate in all its groups. Staff are seconded into the LRF on a continual basis, and vice versa.

The service also has a good relationship with the Humber Emergency Planning Service. Here too, staff are regularly seconded from each organisation to the other to support closer links and broader understanding between them.

The service takes part in regular training events with other members of the LRF and uses the learning to develop planning assumptions about responding to major and multi-agency incidents.

The service uses national operational learning well

The service keeps itself up to date with national operational learning updates from other fire services and joint operational learning from other blue light partners, such as the police service and ambulance trusts. This learning is used to inform planning assumptions that have been made with other partners.

English Cymraeg