Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service rated “Good” in Government inspection

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service has been rated "Good" for its effectiveness, efficiency and how well it leads and manages its staff.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service has undergone its most comprehensive, independent inspection in many years and has been rated as “Good” for its effectiveness, efficiency and how well it leads and manages its staff.

The findings come from a report  published on 17 December by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), who inspected Suffolk’s service earlier this year. Inspectors reviewed every aspect of the service, from how we respond to 999 emergencies, to looking at policies and interviewing a wide range firefighters and staff.

The report praised many aspects of the service, particularly how well it collaborates with other emergency services and agencies, how it responds to fires and other emergencies, how it ensures fairness and promotes diversity, and the financially sound way the service is run.

Mark Hardingham, Chief Fire Officer, said:

“The ‘Good’ rating we have been given is pleasing and positive for our first inspection. This is down to the hard work and dedication of all our staff and I’m extremely proud to be their, and Suffolk’s, Chief Fire Officer.

“The inspection has reported a balance between what we do well and what we need to do better, much of which is already in hand and some of which will be new work.

“I’m especially pleased that the work we have all been doing on leadership, culture, values, equality and inclusion has been recognised.

“We will never stop working to ensure we provide a good and professional fire and rescue service to Suffolk’s communities whenever they need us.”

Councillor Richard Rout, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection at Suffolk County Council, said:

“I’d like to thank all our fire and rescue staff for their professionalism and commitment, especially those involved in the inspection process who engaged in an open and honest way to help us improve even further.

“This report reflects the hard work of our professional firefighters, managers, 999 control and non-operational staff who work tirelessly to ensure they provide good services to people across Suffolk.

“I know from regularly speaking to firefighters and staff, that the service is in good hands, and Suffolk is a safe place to live and work. There is always room for improvement, and we will continue to work on these areas highlighted in the report.

“Our fire service is held in high regard across the county and country, and I understand the importance of continued investment. In recent years we have done this with new uniforms, fire engines, support vehicles and equipment.

“As part of this ongoing investment, we are proposing to increase the service’s budget by £500,000 plus inflation next year. This increase of close to £1m will help contribute to delivering on the improvements identified in the report, alongside our existing plans for investment.”

HMICFRS has now completed its first inspection of all 45 fire and rescue services across the country. These will continue to happen regularly, and it is proposed that Suffolk will be inspected again in 2021.

HMICFRS will also be publishing its ‘State of the Nation’ report summarising the findings from the inspections of all 45 fire and rescue services in England in the coming weeks.