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West Yorkshire 2021/22

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This is HMICFRS’s second full 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.

Roy Wilsher

Roy Wilsher, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services

HMI summary

It was a pleasure for the team to revisit West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, and I am grateful for the positive and constructive way that the service engaged with our inspection.

I am pleased with the performance of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service in keeping people safe and secure from fires and other risks, although it needs to improve in some areas to provide a consistently good service. For example, the service’s prevention teams could work better together, and the quality and timeliness of safe and well visits could be improved.

We were pleased to see that the service has made progress since our 2018 inspection. The service has improved consultation with the public, internal and external stakeholders about its integrated risk management plan (IRMP).

These are the findings I consider most important from our assessments of the service over the last year.

The service has made some progress in making sure it allocates enough resources to a prioritised, risk-based inspection programme (RBIP). However, it is too early to see how effective this will be. I look forward to understanding the impact once the new team structure is fully in place.

The service has an effective integrated risk management model in place. But the approach to preventing risk and protecting the public is often to respond to a report or referral. The service should consider how it can take a more balanced and proactive approach to dealing with its risks.

The service is taking good steps to improve recruitment diversity. It has invested in a positive action officer and adapted its approach to recruitment so that under‑represented groups can better identify with the service.

The service has also improved consultation with the public, internal and external stakeholders in relation to its IRMP. A Community Engagement Forum has been set up and we look forward to seeing the benefits of this in our next inspection.

Overall, the service has developed a good understanding of its future financial challenges. It has also identified savings and investment opportunities to improve the service to the public or generate further savings.

The service has made good progress in most areas since our last inspection. We look forward to seeing the results of further improvements at our next inspection.

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 27/07/2022
Good

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

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

The service has improved consultation with the public, internal and external stakeholders about its integrated risk management plan (IRMP) since our first visit in 2019. A Community Engagement Forum has been set up and we look forward to seeing the benefits of this in our next inspection.

The service has a clear integrated risk management model in place. This covers how to resource activities to prevent, protect and respond to risks. However, many of the service’s activities are in response to a report or referral. The service should consider how it can take a more balanced approach to dealing with its risks.

The service gathers and shares risk information within its organisation, but could improve the speed of updates.

Since our 2019 inspection, the service has provided further command training and development to improve staff understanding of operational discretion. The service continues to provide targeted training and support to make sure knowledge stays current.

View the five questions for effectiveness

Efficiency

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

Last updated 27/07/2022
Good

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

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

The service has limited arrangements for managing performance. It would benefit from having clear key performance indicators and targets in all areas to show how it is making best use of its resources. The service has recognised this and a performance management project is in progress. We are interested to see the results of this activity.

The service has brought its treasury management function in-house to improve efficiency. It has also increased on-call staff’s pay to improve availability, recruitment, and retention.

The service has developed a good understanding of future financial challenges. It has also identified savings and investment opportunities to improve the service to the public or generate further savings.

The service would benefit from improving its technology supplier management processes to support a better level of service.

View the two questions for efficiency

People

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

Last updated 27/07/2022
Good

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

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

During this inspection we were encouraged to hear staff feedback that visibility of and engagement with senior leaders has improved.

The service has effective wellbeing policies in place, and these are clearly understood. However, support could be improved for staff involved in a traumatic incident.

The service has put considerable effort into developing its recruitment campaigns. It employs a positive action champion. And it has adapted recruitment processes to increase the diversity of its assessment panels so that under-represented groups can better identify with the service.

The service has invested in a new system to support staff development and assess individual performance. It now needs to make sure that all staff understand and support its approach.

View the four questions for people

Key facts – 2020/2021

Service Area

784 square miles

Population

2.35m people
up3% local 5 yr change

Workforce

90% wholetime firefighters
10% on-call firefighters
0.42 per 1000 population local
0.56 national level
down7% local 5 yr change
down5% national 5 yr change

Assets

40 stations
46 fire engines

Incidents

3.9 fire incidents per 1000 population local
2.7 national
1.8 non-fire incidents per 1000 population local
2.7 national
4.4 fire false alarms per 1000 population local
3.8 national

Cost

£21.42 firefighter cost per person per year
£25.22 firefighter cost per person per year (national)

Judgment criteria

English Cymraeg