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Oxfordshire 2021/22

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 27/07/2022
Good

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is good at understanding risk.

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

Since our last inspection in 2019, the service has addressed several of the areas for improvement that we highlighted. These include the access firefighters have to site-specific risk information (SSRI), consistency in its use of the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles (JESIP) and its command of incidents, and its evaluation of its prevention activity. It has a well-resourced protection team, which focuses on the buildings that are at greatest risk and takes proportionate enforcement action. But there is still more to do.

For example, the service needs to make sure that it can respond immediately and effectively to incidents. It should make the most of the opportunity to learn and improve through its operational debriefs. It should also make sure that all firefighters understand what their role would be when responding to a possible terrorist incident.

The service knows it needs to improve access to risk information so that control can better support incident commanders when responding to an emergency, and that it needs to do more to reduce unwanted fire signals.

It is encouraging that the service has done a thorough analysis of the risks in its area and used this to develop a new community risk management plan. It works well with a wide range of organisations and neighbouring fire services to reduce risk to the public.

Questions for Effectiveness

1

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

Good

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is good at understanding risk.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service required improvement 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 a range of risks

After a thorough IRMP planning process, the service has assessed an appropriate range of risks and threats. When assessing risk, it considered relevant information collected from a broad range of internal and external sources and data sets.

For example, the service analysed incident data and considered information about its communities, including age, ethnicity, and whether they live in poverty. It also reviewed what effect growth and development and other county council services’ priorities in the area might have on foreseeable risks.

When appropriate, the service has consulted with and had constructive talks with communities and other groups, to both understand the risk and explain how it intends to mitigate it. These groups include parish, district and town councils, local councillors, Thames Valley Police, South Central Ambulance Service, other fire and rescue services, the Royal Life Saving Society, and the service’s own staff and their representative bodies. The service does this face to face, and by using social media, websites, newspaper inserts and existing community networks.

The service has an effective IRMP

After assessing relevant risks, the service has recorded its findings in an easily understood IRMP, which it calls a community risk management plan (CRMP). The 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.

To make sure the service’s plans and aims stay current, it annually reviews new and emerging risks. It will also annually update the public about its progress and achievements. The service should make sure the way it monitors its progress is quickly adjusted to reflect the changes it has made in the new CRMP.

The service has improved its approach to gathering, maintaining, and sharing risk information

The service routinely collects and updates the information it has about the people and places it has identified as being at greatest risk. This includes high-rise buildings, care homes, hospitals, waterways, and some commercial and domestic premises. A central risk information team quality assures and monitors SSRI for non-domestic premises. Operational staff routinely review and practice tactical plans associated with these sites.

In our 2019 inspection we reported that SSRI was kept in both paper and electronic formats. Some of the records were out of date and this was an area for the service to improve. We are pleased that the service made this a priority. We found that firefighters now have good access to up-to-date information on mobile data terminals and tablets.

However, the SSRI collected isn’t distributed throughout the service and isn’t readily available or understood by all staff. The service needs to do more to make sure staff in prevention, protection and response roles can access the information they need. For example, control staff didn’t have access to this information on their mobilising system. This means the service can’t effectively identify, reduce and mitigate risk.

The service is good at building understanding of risk from operational activity

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.

For example, its operational assurance team meet quarterly with several other teams in the service, such as the training and development, health and safety, and driver training teams. They review operational learning identified in the service’s monitoring and auditing process. As a result of these meetings, the service realised that water‑based incidents had an increased risk to staff and the public, and that it needed to increase the frequency of its water safety training courses.

The service has good risk information following 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.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has responded positively and proactively to learning from this tragedy. At the time of our inspection, the service had already assessed the risk of each high-rise building in its service area by the end of 2021.

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

2

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

Good

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

Oxfordshire 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.

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 linked its prevention plan to its new CRMP

The service’s prevention plan is clearly linked to the risks identified in its CRMP. Its prevention objectives prioritise those most at risk from fire and other emergencies. They also address the wider council priorities of thriving people and thriving communities. The plan was developed with input from the service’s prevention teams and is monitored.

The service works well with other relevant organisations on prevention and it passes on relevant information when needed. For example, it has a strong relationship with adult social care and public health services, and shares information about vulnerable people with them to reduce risk.

Information is used to adjust planning assumptions and direct activity between the service’s prevention, protection and response functions. We saw that plans for individual fire stations prioritised safe and well activity, school education, and raising awareness through local campaigns.

However, the service needs to make sure it is also visiting those people most at risk from fire based on local needs, the services data and intelligence, and that it isn’t solely reliant on referrals to target its safe and well visits.

The prevention team has reduced in size since the last inspection. The service should satisfy itself that it can continue to carry out its plans with fewer staff.

The service adapted its prevention activity during the pandemic

We considered how the service had adapted its prevention work during our COVID-19 specific inspection in September and October 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 resumed its safe and well visits to support and protect those vulnerable to fire. The service has also evaluated some of its activities and is making better use of technology as a result. For example, it is using video calls to communicate with and educate the public.

The service is good at targeting activity through referrals

Prevention activity is clearly prioritised using a risk-based approach towards people most at risk from fire and other emergencies. For example, it has effective arrangements to receive referrals for safe and well visits, and to refer people to other organisations where needed. The service had few referrals waiting to be visited at the time of the inspection.

We were also encouraged to see that the service carries out other practical interventions, where specialist staff fit devices including misting units. It has also started working with Southern Gas Networks to install carbon monoxide alarms.

Staff have the right training to do safe and well checks

Staff told us they have the right skills and confidence to make safe and well visits. These checks cover an appropriate range of hazards that can put vulnerable people at greater risk from fire and other emergencies. The service gives specialist staff monthly feedback sessions on their professional development. Operational staff have the initial training to complete safe and well home visits.

The service is good at responding 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. The service makes many referrals to social care services.

The service works well with other organisations

The service works with a wide range of other organisations, such as adult and children’s social care services, local housing providers, health care organisations and charities to prevent fires and other emergencies. We found good evidence that it routinely refers people at greatest risk to these and other organisations which may be better able to meet their needs.

Arrangements are in place for the service to receive referrals from others through an online webform. Referrals come from local GPs, social workers, South Central Ambulance Service, Thames Valley Police and trading standards. The service acts properly on the referrals it receives from these organisations, visiting those people at highest risk within 48 hours of receiving the referral.

The service is good at organising road safety activities

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 is responsible for organising road safety activity on behalf of the council. It targets this activity at schools in the most deprived areas of Oxfordshire.

The service uses the annual National Highways reports on those killed or seriously injured on the road to adapt its campaigns, as 80 to 90 percent of incidents on their roads are linked to the causes mentioned in the reports.

The service is good at responding to 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. This includes staff trained in the National Fire Chiefs Council’s fire-setters intervention scheme.

When appropriate, it routinely shares information with other organisations, such as schools, children and adult social care services, and Thames Valley Police to support the prosecution of arsonists. The number of deliberate fires that the service responds to is below the England average, and the work it does to tackle this concern is proportionate.

The service has made improvements and conducted an evaluation of its activities

The service now has good evaluation tools in place. This was an area for improvement identified in our inspection in 2019. 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.

For example, the CRMP data analysis and the service’s evaluation of its safe and well programme, its Junior Citizens scheme and review of the national Fire Cadets scheme has helped it to identify new ways to educate the public. It has also helped it to target particular areas of the county with digital content. We look forward to seeing the effect these changes have on the service and the communities it serves.

The service’s prevention activities also take into account feedback from the public, from other organisations, and from other parts of the service. For example, it made a phone survey of a sample of the residents who had received safe and well visits. The participants were happy with the service they had received, and some could recall the information they had been given to reduce fire risk in the home.

3

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

Good

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

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service was good 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 effectively addresses the burden of false alarms (termed unwanted fire signals).

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 an effective protection plan that is aligned to its CRMP

The service’s protection plan is clearly linked to the risks it has identified in its CRMP. This means the service can focus its RBIP on what it identifies as high-risk businesses and take appropriate enforcement action. It can also work with businesses to raise their awareness of complying with fire safety regulations, reducing risk in commercial premises.

Staff throughout the service are involved in this activity, with information effectively exchanged between departments as needed. For example, information from audits targeting commercial premises is collected by operational staff and specialist protection team members. This information helps staff to identify new risks, which are then added to the service’s RBIP. The service can then take enforcement action, if appropriate.

Information is also used to adjust planning assumptions and focus activity between the service’s protection, prevention and response teams. This means resources are properly aligned to risk.

The service has recently developed evaluation tools which it could use more to measure the effectiveness of its protection activity. The service should use these tools to make sure all of its communities get equal access to the protection services that meet their needs.

The service adapted its protection activity during the pandemic

We considered how the service had adapted its protection activity during our COVID‑19 specific inspection in September and October 2020. At that time, we found it had adapted its protection work well. Since then, we are encouraged to find that the service has resumed activity as normal, prioritising high-risk premises and using appropriate measures to support those vulnerable to COVID-19. It is meeting all its targets.

The service has aligned its protection activity to address the highest-risk buildings

The service’s RBIP focuses on the service’s highest-risk buildings. The service has continued to review its approach. A comprehensive scoring matrix involving a combination of data, fire severity ratings and local intelligence is used to decide whether a premise will be included, and its rate of reinspection. The service currently identifies its highest-risk premises as those including high-rise residential dwellings, care homes, and some hotels or bed and breakfasts. These buildings are reinspected annually.

The audits we reviewed were completed in the timescales the service has set itself. At the end of March 2021, the service recorded 54 percent of the buildings it audited as unsatisfactory. This is a significantly higher rate than the England average, and a further indication that the service is targeting the most appropriate premises.

The service has successfully audited all high-rise buildings

We are encouraged to see that audits have been carried out at all high-rise buildings the service has identified as having cladding similar to the cladding installed on Grenfell Tower. All the buildings have now had this cladding removed and have been fitted with additional fire safety measures in consultation with the service. Information gathered during these audits is made available to response teams, enabling them to respond more effectively in an emergency.

The quality of audits completed by the service is good

We reviewed a range of audits of different premises across the service. This included audits undertaken as part of the service’s RBIP; 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 and systematic way, and in line with the service’s policies. Relevant information from the audits is made available to operational teams.

The service does do some quality assurance of its protection activity. Managers shadow staff who are completing audits twice a year, but this isn’t recorded. The service should make sure it completes effective quality assurance of its protection activity, so it can be satisfied that all staff continue to carry out audits to an appropriate standard.

The service uses its enforcement powers appropriately

The service consistently uses a wide range of enforcement powers and, when appropriate, prosecutes those who don’t comply with fire safety regulations. The service was considering several potential prosecutions at the time of the inspection. Operational crews are notified of enforcement activity in their station area, to maintain a good understanding of risk.

In the year to 31 March 2021, the service issued:

  • 96 informal notifications;
  • 9 enforcement notices;
  • 3 prohibition notices; and
  • undertook 4 prosecutions for offences.

It completed 7 prosecutions of offences in the 5 years from 2016 to 2021.

The service resources its protection team according to risk

The service has enough qualified protection staff to meet the requirements of the service’s RBIP. This was an area for improvement identified in our inspection in 2019. We are encouraged to see that the service resources its protection team to a level that takes account of the anticipated high number of leavers. This means the service can carry out the full range of audit and enforcement activity needed, both now and in the future.

Staff get the right training and work to appropriate accreditation.

The service is working well with other organisations

The service works closely with other enforcement agencies to regulate fire safety and routinely exchanges risk information with them. It works well with the judicial services and Trading Standards. These support the service to conduct proportionate levels of prosecution activity. The service has also recently developed primary authority schemes with housing organisations to support many buildings in which the fire safety order applies. It has a 24-hour technical support line in collaboration with the other Thames Valley fire services.

The service’s response to building consultations is good

The service responds to all building consultations on time, so consistently meets its statutory responsibility to comment on fire safety arrangements at new and altered buildings.

The service could improve how it promotes fire safety with businesses

The service acknowledges it could do more to engage with local businesses and other organisations to promote compliance with fire safety legislation. It has recently developed a role which will support its CRMP priority to make sure businesses understand how they can comply with regulations. It has joined with the other Thames Valley fire services to present online seminars to educate care homes.

The service could do more to reduce unwanted fire signals

The service has made limited progress in addressing its response to false alarms, which is higher than the national average, and which we identified as an area for improvement in 2019. As such, the area for improvement remains.

In the year to 31 March 2021, the service attended 74 percent of the automatic fire alarm calls (AFAs) that it received. This is higher than the national rate of 63 percent, and is reflected in the high proportion of incidents the service attended being false alarms. This means that fire engines may be unavailable to respond to genuine incidents because they are attending false alarms. It also creates a risk to the public if more fire engines travel at high speed on roads to respond to these incidents. The service has made some progress, with the percentage of AFAs the service attends falling from 88 percent 3 years previously. We look forward to seeing further improvements the service intends to make.

4

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

Requires improvement

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service requires improvement at responding to fires and other emergencies.

Oxfordshire 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 in their area.

Areas for improvement

  • The service should ensure it has effective systems in place to reliably understand the operational capabilities of resources available to respond to incidents.
  • The service should assure itself that it has procedures in place to record and learn from important operational decisions made at incidents, and that these procedures are well-understood by staff.
  • The service should make sure that fire control has direct access to relevant and up-to-date risk information.

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 response plan is aligned to risks identified in the CRMP

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

The service is not achieving 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 CRMP. It aims to arrive at emergencies:

  • within 11 minutes on 80 percent of occasions; and
  • within 14 minutes on 95 percent of occasions.

The service reported that in 2020/21 it hadn’t achieved its targets. It had reached 76.7 percent of emergencies within 11 minutes and 88.6 percent of emergencies within 14 minutes.

Home Office data shows that in the year to 31 March 2021, the service’s average response time to primary fires was 10 minutes and 45 seconds, which is slower than the average time for predominantly rural services of 10 minutes and 28 seconds.

We are disappointed to find that the service hasn’t fully resolved the problem of control knowing whether there are enough breathing-apparatus-qualified staff on board its on‑call fire engines. The service is mobilising another wholetime fire engine to manage this issue, but this may have to attend the incident from much further away, taking longer than is preferable to arrive. We are concerned that this is worsening the effectiveness of the service’s immediate response and the time taken to resolve emergency incidents.

Also, the service has, in some station areas, been flexible in its expectations for on‑call attendance. Previously, on-call staff needed to be within five minutes travel of the station. This has been increased to seven minutes; this may also influence its response time.

Availability of the service’s on-call fire engines could be improved

To support its response plan, the service sets itself a challenging target of having all its fire engines available on 100 percent of occasions. The service doesn’t always meet this standard. It has seen an improvement from an average of 72.5 percent in 2019/20 to 78.3 percent in 2020/21. This improvement may, in part, be due to COVID‑19, as on-call staff were available for more hours.

Incident command knowledge, understanding and application is good

The service has trained incident commanders who are assessed regularly and properly. Each commander is assessed every two years and does quarterly training exercises. New incident commanders are well supported by a mentor to help develop these skills and the service has good incident support tools. This helps 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 were familiar with assessing risk, making decisions and recording information at incidents in line with national operational guidance, as well as the JESIP.

However, we found some inconsistency in operational staff’s understanding and use of operational discretion. The service should make sure staff are familiar with the principles of operational discretion.

The service is developing systems to handle multiple fire survival guidance calls

The control room staff we interviewed are confident they could give fire survival guidance to many callers simultaneously. This was identified as learning for fire services after the Grenfell Tower fire. The service has plans to introduce a way of monitoring multiple fire survival calls between control and staff attending the incident. The service should make sure this will be the most effective approach for both incident commanders and staff in control.

Control has good systems in place to exchange real-time risk information with incident commanders, other responding organisations and other supporting fire and rescue services. Maintaining good situational awareness helps the service to communicate effectively with the public, giving them accurate and tailored advice.

The service has improved access to up-to-date risk information

We sampled a range of risk information records on the service’s mobile systems, including what is in place for firefighters responding to incidents at high-risk, high-rise buildings and what information is held by fire control. Staff had been trained in the use of computer tablets and in the development and use of SSRI since our last inspection.

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 protection and response teams when appropriate.

However, we were disappointed to find that SSRI wasn’t available to control staff. This means they can’t use this information to support incident commanders responding to an emergency. The service has a plan to improve this availability and should make this change as a matter of urgency.

The service is not getting the most from its operational debrief process

As part of the inspection, we reviewed a range of emergency incidents and training events. These included hot debriefs at small incidents, structured debriefs for large and multi-agency incidents, debriefs at fires where there was a fatality or serious injury, and debriefs at incidents where operational discretion was used.

While the service has made some progress and improved the debrief process, the following area for improvement identified in 2019 remains. We found that the service doesn’t always complete a structured debrief according to its own policy. Some staff were unaware of the structured debrief policy. They were also unaware of learning from a structured debrief process that had recently been shared on the service’s intranet.

The service’s system to record learning from a structured debrief is complex, and it isn’t always clear what follow up action has been taken to improve service for the public. As a result, the service can’t be certain that learning and development is acted on after an incident.

The service follows national operational guidance when it responds to incidents

We are pleased to see the service routinely follows its policies to assure itself, through monitoring, that staff command incidents in line with operational guidance. Internal risk information is updated with the information received through its continual audit process.

We are also 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 organisations. This includes attending regional operational assurance meetings to identify good ways of working in other services and sharing learning from incidents such as those involving lithium-ion batteries.

The service keeps the public well informed

The service has good systems in place to inform the public about ongoing incidents and help keep them safe during and after incidents. This includes all stations having a social media account and templated text and images to give instant updates about ongoing incidents. The county council communications team support the service during larger and multi-agency incidents.

5

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

Good

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

Oxfordshire 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).

Areas for improvement

The service should make sure it is well-prepared to form part of a multi-agency response to a terrorist incident, and its procedures for responding are understood by all staff and are well tested.

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 CRMP.

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. Firefighters have access to risk information from neighbouring services up to 10 kilometres across borders through their mobile data terminals and tablets.

Staff are generally well-prepared to respond to major and multi-agency incidents

We reviewed the arrangements the service has in place to respond to different major incidents, including wide-area flooding, high-rise incidents and incidents at high‑risk sites.

The service has good arrangements in place, which are well-understood by staff. Staff learn about the arrangements through the service’s online training. The service also arranges local exercises with other blue light emergency services to test the arrangements for different incident types.

All staff should be prepared to respond to a terrorist incident

Most of the firefighters we spoke to didn’t know what they would be expected to do in the event of a marauding terrorist attack.

The service needs to be sure all its staff are prepared to respond safely and effectively to a terrorist incident. It needs to make sure learning from exercises is used to improve its plans.

The service works well with other fire services

The service supports other fire and rescue services responding to emergency incidents. It shares a control room with the other Thames Valley fire services. This means that the nearest fire engine to an incident is mobilised first, and the three services often jointly respond to incidents across their borders, using their aligned equipment and fire engines. It is intraoperable with these services and can form part of a multi-agency response. Respondents to the staff survey agreed that the service works well with its neighbouring services.

The service has successfully deployed to other services. For example, it sent its high‑volume fire engine to support the response to the flooding in London during July 2021.

Staff take part in cross-border exercising

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. Recent exercises have been completed with Buckinghamshire and Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Services. The service carried out fewer exercises during the pandemic.

The service has improved knowledge and understanding of JESIP

The service provided us with strong evidence that it had improved its understanding of JESIP since our last inspection, and that it consistently follows these principles. The incident commanders we interviewed had been trained in and were familiar with the principles.

The service arranges initial familiarisation training for all incident commanders, and additional training and annual exercises for firefighters with more experience. Quarterly and monthly learning sessions give managers the opportunity to understand new practices and to learn from local, regional and national events.

The service works well with other organisations

The service has good arrangements in place to respond to emergencies with other partners that make up the Thames Valley Local Resilience Forum. These arrangements include the rapid sharing of relevant risk information through control and planned joint operational exercises.

The service takes part in regular training events with other members of the local resilience forum and uses the learning to develop planning assumptions about responding to major and multi-agency incidents. The service has shared information about exercises at high-rise buildings with other organisations, including South Central Ambulance Service, hazardous area response teams and Thames Valley Police. The service is a valued partner and continues to lead on chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive and hazardous materials threats.

National operational learning is prioritised in the service

The service keeps itself up to date with national operational learning updates from other fire services and joint organisational 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.

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