Fire service is effective and efficient but ...

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service has won praise from a Government watchdog, but also been told it could be doing more about its people.
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service has won praise from a Government watchdog, but also been told it could be doing more about its people.

Lincolnshire and Fire and Rescue Service has been praised by a Government watchdog for how effective and efficient it is, but found lacking in terms of how well it looks after its people.

The observations come in a report published late last year by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

It followed an inspection of the service in the summer.

In terms of effectiveness and efficiency, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue was judged to be ‘good’ in each area – one down from the highest rating of ‘outstanding’.

For the category of people, though, a ‘requirements improvement’ verdict was given; this is one down from ‘good’ and one above the lowest rating of ‘inadequate’.

In their report, HMICFRS said: “We are pleased with most aspects of the performance of Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service in keeping people safe and secure. But it needs to improve how it looks after its people, to give a consistently good service.”

“We are particularly concerned that it is not doing enough to ensure it has the right people with the right skills,” it explained. “It also needs to do better at promoting the right values and culture and managing performance and developing leaders. It is, however, good at ensuring fairness and promoting diversity.”

In response to the ‘requires improvement’ rating, a spokesman for the service said this related largely to issues with the effectiveness of its systems for recording training.

The service is already in the process of implementing a new system to address this issue, they added.

Chief Fire Officer Nick Borrill said: “Overall this is a strong report which reflects the commitment and dedication of our staff and the good level of service delivered to our communities.

“We acknowledge there are some areas on which we need to focus and we are already putting plans in place to address these.”