Agenda item

Presentation from Essex Fire and Rescue Service

To receive a presentation from the Essex Fire and Rescue Service.


The Committee received a presentation from Station Manager (SM) James Taylor, Operational and Community Risk Manager for Essex County Fire and Rescue.


SM Taylor provided an outline of the work of the Fire and Rescue Service which included the following.  He clarified that any reference to risk referred to all incidents that the fire service attended:

·                 Fire and Rescue Plan – This was a key document, the first of its kind produced by a Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) and set out the PFCC’s vision and priorities for the delivery of fire and rescue services in Essex.  A consultation with partners, Local Authorities had taken place to develop themes and identify priorities along with a public survey.

The Plan would set the foundation in developing operational plans and activities for the next five years.


·                 The Priorities – Eight priorities had been identified and SM Taylor took the Committee through these, providing additional information and outlining where further developments were ongoing.


·                 Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) – This was a statutory document which all Fire and Rescue Services had to produce to demonstrate how risk within the community was responded to.  It also set out the management strategy for the Fire Service and its response to legislative responsibilities.  Members noted that the Fire and Rescue Plan was used as the framework for the IRMP.

SM Taylor outlined the IRMP requirements under the National Framework.  He advised that they were currently in the research and analysis phase of implementation and following consultation it was hoped that the Plan would be in place from 2020 for a period of three years.


·                 Statistical information – The presentation highlighted how the Fire Service had responded to incidents during 2017 / 18 and how these figures had changed when compared with 2009 / 10.

SM Taylor reported on the considerable work that had been undertaken and continued, specifically in this region, to increase the amount of on-call fire fighters.

Members were advised that the delivery of Community Safety Activities would be changing with 30% of the previously centralised team being placed into fire stations throughout the County to provide a more effective delivery of community safety.  These changes would also allow Station Managers, through attendance of groups and other meetings, to gain broader understanding and knowledge to become greater involved in community safety.


·                 Safe, Well and Secure – This was an inclusive and holistic approach to community safety and engagement where a number of different organisations would come together to deliver a range of local community and business engagement opportunities.  The concept was by working together specific areas could be targeted jointly in a collaborative approach.  SM Taylor explained how the model could be adapted to where it was being delivered which had several benefits including being an efficient and effective way of working and was working to make communities stronger and safer.

Members were informed of an event due to be held in Maldon, Burnham-on-Crouch and Tillingham at the beginning of June. 

SM Taylor highlighted a recent event that had taken place outside of the Maldon District involving up to 40 different partners and gave some examples of specific issues identified and addressed by partners.  The presentation highlighted some of the feedback received from External Partners in response to this initiative.


In response to the presentation Members raised a number of questions and SM Taylor provided the following additional information:

·                 Where a matter had been identified through the Safe, Well and Secure initiative this would be referred to the relevant service e.g. the Fire Service who would pick up any safety issues, or the Police any vulnerability or safeguarding issues etc.


·                 False calls were a huge issue for the Fire Service and SM Taylor outlined some of the measures in place to limit how these were responded to.  It was noted that around 30% of calls received were false and false alarm calls included things such as people panicking or incorrect placement of a smoke alarm.  Members were advised that if such calls were malicious they would be referred to the Police who would seek to investigate and prosecute appropriately.


·                 The Fire Service had made a commitment that no fire stations would be closed.  However, crewing models were changing, and this was in response to risk and creating effective and efficient ways of working. 


·                 There would be funding challenges over the forthcoming years with the government central revenue grant would be reducing over the next four years. 


·                 A collaborative board had been established for the Police and Fire Services and part of their discussions would involve looking at shared fleets, resources, building, IT etc.  As opportunities arise the Service would be looking to move forward.


The Chairman thank SM Taylor for attending the meeting that his very informative presentation.


In response to a question regarding the Fire Service reporting regularly to this Committee, the Director of Service Delivery advised that the intention was to bring in other partners (on a cyclical basis) to report to the Committee.  However the Committee could request the Fire Service to attend a meeting at any point.