Strategic goal 3: We will respond immediately and effectively to emergency incidents
During our public consultation, 87% of respondents agreed that this should be one of our strategic focus areas
Responding to incidents
When we receive a 999 call for help, we respond immediately with the nearest appropriate fire engines and specialist equipment for the size and type of incident. Our aim is always to deal effectively and efficiently with the incident to save life and limit the damage to property and the environment.
We share a Joint Control Room with Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service. Together we are also part of a tri-service control room arrangement with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service. This means we can mobilise the nearest fire engine to an incident even if it comes from another county. We call this borderless mobilising. This means we can get help to where it’s needed as quickly and effectively as possible, which provides a high level of resilience.
We arrive at the scene of an incident prepared to deal with a wide range of risks and hazards. We have access to detailed information about known risks at sites using Mobile Data Terminals installed in our fire engines.
We use National Operational Guidance (NOG). This is a standardised set of procedures, information and guidance that set out how to deal safely and effectively with different types of incidents that firefighters may encounter. The aim of NOG is to identify best practice and develop standardised ways of working across all fire services. We have played a leading role in the East Midlands region in developing and implementing NOG.
Training and competence
We have around 430 wholetime firefighters and a further 250 on-call firefighters. They are trained to a high standard through:
- Practical and face-to-face training at our Service Development Centre
- Station based training
- Training exercises for different types of incidents
To ensure skills, knowledge and competence are maintained, firefighters follow a programme of Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Their skills in core competences are regularly assessed and revalidated. All our ways of working are aligned to NOG.
Training exercises are an important way to test procedures and practice dealing with types of incidents which don’t happen often. We have a programme of exercises each year, many involving other agencies and other fire services, the police and ambulance services, the Local Resilience Forum and the Environment Agency. These multiagency exercises provide reassurance that in the event of a large or complex incident, emergency responders will be able to work together safely and effectively.
We have agreements in place with our neighbouring fire services to receive and provide operational support. This means we can call on other fire services for assistance when we need it. For example, if we’re busy with a large single incident or many smaller incidents, or if we need specialist support. These agreements mean we have a high level of resilience.
Using the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles (JESIP), we work alongside other emergency services. Using these common operating principles, we deal with incidents effectively and minimise impact to our communities.
Many larger, technical or complex emergencies require multiple partners to work together to resolve the incident. We are an active member of the Nottinghamshire Local Resilience Forum. This statutory partnership, of emergency services and other key partners, works together to share skills, information and expertise to build, test and exercise the local Community Risk Register. This ensures all partners are aware of foreseeable events, and that plans are ready for an effective response when needed.
In recent years, we have attended several serious incidents nationally. These include providing support during widescale floods in Lincolnshire, large moorland fires in Lancashire and a collapsed dam in Derbyshire.
The National Resilience Capabilities Programme (NRCP) is the Government’s central programme to increase the capability to respond to major incidents. As part of this, many fire services have specialist vehicles called ‘national assets’. These can be used by the fire service which has them to respond locally, or if required, regionally or nationally.
In November 2019 we were called to support South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (SYFRS) with widescale flooding in the Sykehouse area. We sent our High Volume Pump crew who supported the incident for a number of days, to remove large volumes of flood water and limit the impact to the local community.
Following this incident a letter was received from the Chief Fire Officer of SYFRS thanking us for our support, and giving particular praise for the positivity and professionalism of our crew.
Operational training and exercising
We will continue to:
- Provide routine training and revalidation processes to maintain the skills and knowledge of all operational staff
- Work proactively with regional partners to improve the effectiveness of our response to incidents
- Undertake a fundamental review of operational training functions to ensure training provision is fit for the future
- Review the way our initial training for new recruits is structured and delivered, to provide more flexibility, reflect the importance of prevention and protection work and shorten the time it takes to get new recruits on board
- Ensure our learning management systems provide an effective way to support our competent workforce
Optimising our response
We will continue to:
- Meet our current response standard of arriving at incidents within an average of 8 minutes from the time the first fire engine is sent
- Monitor and review our performance and processes relating to our response to emergency incidents
- Implement the outcomes of the Specialist Appliance Review undertaken during 2021 and align our investment in specialist vehicles accordingly
- Review the findings of the Strategic Assessment of Risk and Fire Cover Review, along with other sources of information, to identify ways that we can optimise our service delivery model
- Assess the outcomes of the pilot schemes being run to test different contracts for on-call firefighters, with a view to rolling out those which prove successful in helping to recruit and retain personnel
- Review our approach to specialist roles undertaken by officers, such as fire investigation and specialist tactical advisors
Supporting services, systems and infrastructure
- Implement a new operational rostering solution, to improve how we manage the availability of crews, fire engines and related administration processes
- Work in collaboration with our tri-service partners to re-tender the contract for the system we use to mobilise our fire engines