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HMICFRS calls for improvements in Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service

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Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service’s performance under scrutiny

As reported by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service requires further improvement to enhance its effectiveness in fire safety and to promote diversity and the right values within the workforce.

HMICFRS has recently assessed the service across 11 key areas, finding its performance ‘adequate’ in two, ‘requires improvement’ in six, and ‘inadequate’ in three areas.

The inspectorate has expressed concern over the slow pace of progress since the last evaluation in 2021.

Specific areas needing significant improvement include the service’s protocols for building inspections and actions to ensure the safety of staff and residents.

Moreover, HMICFRS emphasised the need for better promotion of values, positive workplace culture, and equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Challenges and expectations outlined by HMICFRS

His Majesty’s Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services, Roy Wilsher, commented on the service’s current state: “We have concerns about the performance of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service in keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks.

“Despite the service’s intent and considerable effort, we were disappointed to see that it hasn’t made the progress we expected since our last inspection in 2021.”

Wilsher further highlighted the departmental coordination issues within the service: “We are concerned the service’s departments don’t always work together very well, and we saw occasions when the service was more focused on trying to increase output instead of reducing the greatest risk to the public.”

He also recognised some areas of improvement, which he believes the service should take encouragement from.

“While the service has deteriorated in some areas since our last inspection, we recognise there have also been some improvements, which the service should take encouragement from.

“We will continue to work closely with the service and its leadership team to review the progress it’s making.”

IFSJ Comment

The HMICFRS report on Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service brings to light several critical areas needing urgent attention to enhance safety and efficiency.

It underscores the importance of cohesive teamwork and a focused approach towards minimising risks rather than boosting outputs.

As the service aims to implement the necessary changes, the guidance and continuous oversight from HMICFRS will be crucial in steering the improvements.

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