Fire service is judged as ‘good’ across the board for the second time

Government inspectors have once again rated the work of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service as “good” in its overall judgement.

CFO Roberts

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) continuously monitors the performance of all fire and rescue services across England.
An overarching report, providing an overview of the national picture for the country's fire and rescue services, is released today (Wednesday).
This will include a raft of reports relating to fire services most recently inspected.

West Yorkshire’s FRS, which is in this tranche, has been judged as being “good overall” for the three pillars of effectiveness, efficiency, and people. This follows a similar judgement of “good” in 2019.

As the fourth largest fire and rescue service and one of only a handful of metropolitan services, it is anticipated this judgement will make the service one of the top-performing in the country.

This latest round of reports includes Devon and Somerset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Humberside, Lancashire, London, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Tyne and Wear and West Sussex FRSs. 

The data for all these services is released today and further analysis will be done in the coming days.

The judgement for WYFRS has been warmly welcomed by senior leaders.

Chief Fire Officer John Roberts said: “This is a great achievement, and it is testament to the hard work and determination of all our staff, who without fail want the best for the people of West Yorkshire, who they serve.

“It shows we are doing what we need to do – which is keeping the people of West Yorkshire safe. This comes on the back of a previous inspection where we were also rated as good. It is great to see we have not slipped, and our aim now is of course to do even better.

“We have ambitious plans to future proof the service so we can best deliver for our residents across the five districts we cover. Our aim is to ensure we are fit for the future and this means ensuring we are getting return on investment and using the latest data and intelligence to measure how successful we are being.

“I am proud of the work that my colleagues do to support each other and communities across West Yorkshire.” 

He added the success is down to everyone who plays their part at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, including firefighters, departmental and control room staff.

HMICFRS has built on previous reports to focus on areas of concern from across the sector. There has been an increase to the threshold for gradings and how parameters are now measured have varied slightly from the previous HMICFRS inspection. The grading criteria considers existing national operational guidance and any new standards as they are agreed and adopted when assessing services now. 

The inspection team looked in detail at every aspect of WYFRS and made a few recommendations and actions from this, which includes two areas to improve on in the effectiveness pillar. This has not impacted the overall judgement of “good”.

“There is, of course, always room to learn and develop and we will be looking at the report in detail to address any areas of concern they have highlighted,” added CFO Roberts. “But the overall picture is positive. A project plan will be drawn up to look at improvements in these areas and we will give regular updates on the progress of these actions as we go forward.”

A copy of the full report will be available here from 0:01am on Wednesday 27 July 2022.