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‘Good’ outcome from inspection

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) is serving its communities well, it has been confirmed in its first inspection from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary & Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), released on 20 June 2019.

HMICFRS had spent the previous year analysing data and documents and visiting the Service to assess it against three core themes – effectiveness; efficiency and how well it looks after its people. This was the second tranche of inspection reports of English fire and rescue services to be released, after the first tranche was released in December 2018.

The Inspectorate found that the Service was ‘Good’ across all three core themes – one of only eight fire and rescue services to achieve this in the second tranche of 16 inspections, and the only Service in this tranche to receive good in all sections of the people pillar.

The inspection commended the Service for its performance. The national report indicates a positive position compared with the national picture in the effective delivery of fire safety, targeted prevention activity and exploiting the benefits of technology to modernising its working environment.

Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell said: “I am delighted that the Service has been independently recognised by the Inspectorate for all the good work that takes place across Dorset and Wiltshire to keep our communities safe from fire and the other emergencies that we deal with. The inspection process was a good experience that has provided us with a good platform to build upon. We will continue to build on the great work that is being delivered for our communities.”

He added: “I am very proud of our organisation and all the fantastic work done by my staff. They work really hard to give the best possible service they can to all those who need our help or work with us. This result is even more impressive if you consider that this is a new Service, coming into existence just over three years ago.”

In particular, HMICFRS praised the Service for its prevention initiatives; education; approach to social media; making really good use of the money available to deliver an effective operational service and the open and honest culture within the organisation

The Inspectors said: “We spoke to a lot of staff across the whole organisation in prevention, protection, response, and to corporate staff. The way they felt about the Service impressed us. They were proud of the Service and of its work in the community and spoke highly of their own work to contribute to the Service’s vision.”

The report also highlights areas where the Service could further develop with some identified ‘improvement areas’. Pleasingly, there were no surprises and these areas are already being considered and progressed as part of internal improvement plans.

Chair of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority, Cllr Rebecca Knox, said: “This is a great outcome for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service. It is extremely reassuring that we have such an effective fire and rescue service. On behalf of the Authority and the residents we represent, I would like to thank all staff for their professionalism in delivering this highly skilled service to the communities across Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole, Dorset, Swindon and Wiltshire. We look forward to building on this report and its recommendations as the organisation further develops.”

The full report from HMICFRS into DWFRS can be found here: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/wp-content/uploads/dorset-and-wiltshire-fire-and-rescue-service-report-2018-19.pdf

The summary report into tranche two findings can be found here: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/frs-assessment/frs-2018/dorset-and-wiltshire/

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