May 27, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Inspection report recognises progress made by CFRS and praises ‘innovative’ Tri-Service Safety Officer initiative

A new report has recognised the significant improvements made by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and praised the innovative Tri-Service Safety Officer initiative 

After its previous inspection three years ago, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMI) deemed the service inadequate and identified five areas as causes of concern. 

Chief Fire Officer Kathryn Billing said that while the service is continuing to make improvements, the latest report reflects the significant progress that has already been made.  

Kathryn, who was appointed Chief Fire Officer in May 2021, said: “We have come a long way since the previous report three years and although there is still work to be done, I am really proud of the progress we have made particularly during these unprecedented times.  

“Throughout the pandemic our crews have and continue to provide support to our blue light colleagues and stepped up to support local communities across Cornwall. We are incredibly proud of our fire service, but we also recognise that there are areas where further improvements are needed, and we are committed to addressing those issues.” 

Following the latest inspection, which was carried out in March 2021, the service has been rated as requiring improvement overall. The inspectors identified one cause of concern in relation to managing information about risk.  

Kathryn added: “This is an area that we are prioritising and focussing on to improve immediately. We have commitment from the Council to support our improvement plans, this means we will be able to update our Information Technology and increase the availability of officers to complete the risk inspections.” 

The inspectors found that sufficient progress had been made in several of the areas previously identified as causes of concern. 

They also highlighted the Tri-Service Safety Officer initiative, which supports the fire service, ambulance service and the police to respond to incidents and support local communities, as innovative practice and said they were “impressed” by the collaboration. 

Martyn Alvey, portfolio holder responsible for Public Protection at Cornwall Council, said: “This report is very encouraging, and it is fantastic to see that the Tri-Service Safety Officers, who are unique to Cornwall, have been recognised for their efforts in supporting our local communities.” 

“I have confidence in our new Chief Fire Officer, and we are committed to ensuring that the service can continue to make the improvements that are required to keep both our crews and our residents safe.” 

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our Fire & Rescue Service staff for their hard work in striving for continuous improvement since the last inspection and for everything the service has done to support the fight against Covid, helping to protect vulnerable people throughout these very difficult times. 

Story published 15 December 2021

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