Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) is committed to making a real difference to the lives of people in Dorset and Wiltshire. Getting to know our local communities is a very important part of our service delivery, by knowing and understanding our communities we can better tailor our services to meet their needs. Therefore, we invest our time and effort ensuing that we create opportunities for all members of our communities to engage with us. Below are just some of the initiatives we hold to get to know our communities:
- Station open days
- Youth Intervention Programmes
- Fire Safety Education programmes
- Road Safety Education programmes to young drivers, businesses, the military, cyclists and motorcyclists.
- Safe and Well Visits to vulnerable members of our communities
- Fire safety inspections to local businesses
- Attendance at community events
- Our community volunteering scheme
All of these activities are an integral part of the prevention work that happens across the Service to protect our communities, it is the principle method of driving down deaths and injuries from fires within the home.
We also seek to support our communities through partnership schemes, and we are proud to support the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, currently holding the Silver award after signing the covenant in January 2019. This reinforces our commitment to those who have served or continue to serve, both Dorset and Wiltshire have a large military communities and showing our commitment to these individuals and their families is really important to us.
We are also keen to know how our service users rate our services and what we could do to improve. We gather this feedback through surveys to those that have used our services. This information allows us to monitor our performance at incidents, but beyond this it also identifies the members of our communities who use our services, and which groups of people are most or least likely to need them in the future. This then allows us to target our work appropriately to broaden our reach as required.
We also carry out internal reviews following incidents, these are commonly known as debriefs and allow us to reflect on the job completed, noting any lessons from these experiences to support our future performance and the service we are able to provide to our users.
Further to this we have a dedicated team of information specialists who are consistently analysing the available data to help us improve our performance. This includes the review of incident data to identify patterns and trends, which will then inform future prevention work should an area of concern arise. Thus improving the accuracy of the targeted work we undertake to reduce deaths and injuries from fires.
We also work closely with our Partners such as local authorities, charity support groups (age UK, Dementia care etc) and agencies. This enables us to offer a better service, as well as creating additional means of reaching the most vulnerable members of our communities. Through these additional channels we are able to support in improving the lives of residents across Dorset and Wiltshire whether that be through making them safer in their home, delivering an education session at their school, or running a youth intervention programme.
As an employer we take great pride in being a great place to work and therefore we are very interested in what our staff have to say, we run annual staff surveys to collect this data as well as multiple forums throughout the year which provides staff with the opportunity to contribute to decisions. In 2019 we introduced a leadership consultancy group who we have since utilised in designing new internal processes, this group was identified by the workforce for the workforce and allows members to represent their colleagues in the decision making process.
As instructed by the Equality Act 2010 Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are required to Publish our Gender Pay Gap Report on an annual basis. The Gender Pay Gap is different from Equal Pay. The Gender Pay Gap Report is in place to demonstrate the difference between the average earnings of men and women, calculating the mean and median hourly pay rate for all our staff. Whilst our median gender pay gap is lower than the national figure, this remains an area that we are keen to improve and we have an action in place to address this.
Our volunteers are a big part of our Service and really do make a huge difference to their local communities by providing us with their skills, knowledge, and time. Volunteers are a valuable asset to the service and support in a variety of initiatives including educational events, road and community safety and youth engagement programmes. The external experiences and knowledge of their communities that our volunteers bring to the Service improves the provision we are able to provide.