Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service do much more than just fight fires, and whilst fighting fires remains a primary responsibility of the Service, it is far from our only role in the community. Fostering good relations between communities is a key role of the service and therefore offering support to those most vulnerable forms a large part of our role.
Community Safety is a top priority for the Service, our Community Safety Plan sets out our ambition over the next few years. It has five priorities: 1. Making safer and healthier choices 2. Protecting you and the environment from harm 3. Being there when you need us 4. Making every penny count. 5. Supporting and developing our people. As you can see from these priorities Prevention forms a large part of our roles and responsibilities. On an annual basis we complete a strategic assessment of risk, this helps us to identify emerging opportunities and challenges.
From this we have identified that the number of households requiring our assistance is set to rise, we therefore target the highest risk groups when completing much of our prevention work.
- We perform thousands of free ‘Safe and Well’ visits a year, fitting free smoke alarms and making people aware of potential risks to their health and well-being. Our focus is on improving the overall safety of individuals in their homes.By working with our Partners, we have been able to successfully sign-post individuals to the appropriate help, advice and services they require, thus reducing not only the fire risks but the risk of slips, trips and falls that can also lead to serious injury and hospital stays.
- We work with local schools, businesses, cyclists, motorcyclists, and the military to provide safer roads through our road safety programmes.
- We also deliver a range of education and intervention programmes designed to support children, young adults, their families, and vulnerable people. This helps them to live safe and healthy lives, achieving their potential. These programmes not only help in reducing the number of deliberate fires but they also support in reducing incidents of anti-social behaviour.
It isn’t just in our communities that we take action, we proactively seek to make improvements for our workforce as well. In order to obtain this feedback we run an annual survey which goes to all staff, we hold discussion forums, culture surveys and networking groups to gain staff feedback. Below are some examples of some recent actions we have taken to better support our workforce, making DWFRS a great place to work.
- Embedded Equality, Diversity and Inclusion across the service, D&I is everyone’s responsibility
- Updated our grievance, discipline and Bullying and Harassment procedures
- Revised the Terms of Reference of our support networks and assigned a Strategic Lead from the Senior Leadership Team to all networks
- Reviewed and improved workplace facilities for women to help provide a welcoming and supportive environment
- Sourced appropriate suppliers for workwear and PPE, in consultation with women’s network
- Refreshed the Recruitment processes to help re-balance workforce composition and encouraging more under-represented groups applying to the Service through our positive action campaign “#BeOneOfUs