Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service's performance has deteriorated

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s performance has deteriorated amidst uncertainty over its new governance structure, a new report has found.

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Effectiveness, efficiency and people 2021/22 – Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded the service:

  • ‘requires improvement’ at effectively keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks;
  • ‘inadequate’ at efficiently keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks; and
  • ‘requires improvement’ at looking after its people.

His Majesty’s Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services Matt Parr said:

“There are several areas of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s performance that have declined since its last inspection.

“The first to note is its inadequate grade for efficiency. At the time we visited, the service was facing near-unprecedented uncertainty about its future governance. New and untested arrangements, due to a reorganisation of local government, will come into force in April – but at the time of inspection, those arrangements were unclear and we could not guarantee there would be no subsequent risk to the public. We will revisit the service in March and review this grade. In the meantime, I urge all parties to concentrate their efforts to finalise plans so that the transfer to new arrangements present no risks to the service Cumbria receives.

“I have other concerns about the service’s efficiency and how it looks after its workforce, particularly its ability to recruit the right people with the right skills, and whether the service will be affordable in the future.

“I do not underestimate how much improvement is needed and we will continue to closely monitor the service’s progress.”

Today HMICFRS will also publish the State of Fire and Rescue 2022, which sets out His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services’ assessment of the sector nationally.

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Effectiveness, efficiency and people 2021/22 – Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service

Notes

  1. In its 2018/2019 inspection, Cumbria was rated as good for effectiveness and efficiency, and requires improvement for looking after its people.
  2. For further information, the HMICFRS Press Office can be contacted at 0300 071 6781 or HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk (e-mail address).