Year Three Strategic Priorities
Shaping our future
Whilst carrying out our day-to-day functions, we have also been planning for the future. During 2021/22 we have developed our Community Risk Management Plan for 2022-2025. To assist us in this process we have produced a Strategic Assessment of Risk, carried out community and workforce consultation and undertaken a Fire Cover Review, to understand which parts of the county are most at risk of fire and other emergencies.
Collaboration to improve community outcomes
Collaboration with our partners has played a significant part in the life of our Strategic Plan 2019-2022. We have continued to explore and develop these opportunities with partners and other fire and rescue services throughout 2021/22. This year has seen the completion of building works at the new Joint Headquarters at Sherwood Lodge and continued co-location at various sites across the Service. To better understand the effectiveness of our collaborations, we are working with experts from Nottingham Trent University to improve the way we evaluate our activities.
As we emerge from the restrictions imposed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have focused on returning to ‘pre-pandemic’ levels of activity. Although we maintained an effective response to emergencies, we had to adjust other areas of our service. This year we have worked hard to ensure that our prevention, protection and training activities have been restored and improved through lessons we have learned throughout the pandemic.
We, in common with all FRSs, have a statutory duty to continually seek to improve the services we provide and the efficiency and effectiveness with which we deliver them. During 2021/22 we completed the remaining actions arising from the 2019 inspection of the Service. We have continued to act on the findings of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, including implementing updated training and procedures for the safe evacuation of buildings.
During 2021/22 we have adopted a new agile working policy for staff who are able to carry out their roles effectively at sites other than their usual workplace. After scoping and consulting throughout the year, the policy has been developed to enable the Service and individuals to benefit from improved flexibility and efficiency.
Specialist appliance review
To meet the demands of the wide range of incidents we respond to, we use a range of specialist vehicles which are located across the county. During the next few years, a number of these vehicles will reach the end of their planned life expectancy. During 2021/22, we have undertaken a review of these vehicles, which looked at their condition, their location in relation to the risk of incidents they would be needed for, how they are operated, additional requirements and their support at both local and national incidents. The recommendations from the review will be implemented in 2022 and will help to ensure that our fleet is aligned to the risks within the county.
Sustainability of on-call
Over half our fire stations are staffed by on-call firefighters. Improving the sustainability of our on-call workforce has been a priority throughout the life of this Strategic Plan. During 2021/22 we have continued to explore new ways of recruiting and retaining our on-call firefighters to ensure that we can meet the demands of the future. Part of this process has been the development of an alternative on-call employment contract, which aims to improve the flexibility and reliability of the current system. This is being trialled in a pilot scheme which will run until the end of August 2022.
A rostering capability is an essential tool for planning when staff are on duty, and for maximising the availability of our appliances. In 2021/22 we have invested in a new system called ‘Fire Service Rota’, which is expected to be in use by the end of 2022.
We are committed to being an inclusive organisation and ensuring equality of access to our services.
Over the last 12 months, we have continued to develop our understanding of community needs and expectations through our community engagement programme. We have worked hard to encourage “seldom heard” groups to contribute to our public consultations and have deepened relationships with diverse groups across the county. We continue to promote the service as an employer of choice, through our positive action campaign, with the aim of increasing the diversity of our workforce.
We have produced e-learning and podcasts for our staff to improve their knowledge and understanding of the different faiths and cultures that exist within our communities.
We have established several employee network groups including LGBT+ & Proud Friends, the Women’s Network, Disability Matters, and the Ethnic Minority Alliance. These groups offer a forum to discuss issues, offer support and representation, and promote inclusion within the workplace.