Stephen Mold (SM)
Paul Fell (PF)
Paul Bullen (PB)
Helen King (HK)
Darren Dovey (DD)
Shaun Hallam (SH)
Rob Porter (RP)
Scott Richards (SR)
Louise Sheridan (LS)
Minutes and Actions from previous meeting
The minutes from the previous meeting were approved.
– Relevant updates on any outstanding actions were provided and the Action Log updated.
– DD advised that the response to the consultation was positive and any issues and concerns were being addressed in station visits.
– There was a discussion about response times and the number of appliances available to respond.
– SH is currently reviewing monthly data which shows how many appliances were available on an hourly basis. From this he will be able to provide an accurate picture of cover across the county as well as identify specific times when cover was above or below the threshold.
– There was a discussion about optimum cover and future operating models both in terms of appliances and working patterns.
– DD explained this is governed by the National Governance Framework (2004 Act, Role maps etc.) and limited by the negotiating mechanisms that exist within the NJC.
ACTION – SM will raise with the Home Office in collaboration with the other three PFCCs.
– There was a discussion about the lease of land in Chelveston which runs out in 2022.
– Fire currently use the land for training as it is in a remote location
– There was a discussion about the possibility of the land also being used for police public order training and be a possible revenue stream for fire.
ACTION – PF will raise possibility of the land being used for public order training. RP with pick up with Kate Perris via the Interoperability Board.
NFRS protection arrangements
– Scott Richards as Head of Protection provided an overview of the legal framework which sets out the scope & role of the Protection Department.
– There was a discussion about the legal requirement to inspect but confirmation that there is currently no requirement on the frequency as this is determined by each services Risk Based Inspection Programme (RBIP).
– Scott explained the difference between ‘not complying’ and being ‘compliant’. The role of the protection team is to check for compliance.
– The team operate a risk based inspection programme covering 22,000 commercial premises. These include care homes, hotels, pubs, clubs, HMO’s, shops, factories, offices and Heritage Buildings.
– Scott explained some of the challenges his team face in defining the ‘sleeping risk’ in properties particularly in care homes and HMOs.
– In addition there are challenges with the size of the team (only 6 Protection positions of which 4.5 are filled)
– This prompted a discussion on future arrangements and activity. There was also a discussion about the difference between fire protection (largely commercial) and fire prevention (targeted at domestic users in their homes and on their behaviours).
– Post Grenfell there is a national push for the installation of sprinklers in high rise premises and new buildings particularly in schools and large warehouses.
– There was a discussion about what constitutes a high rise building. This is operationally informed as 18 meters (6 floors). However national work going on post Grenfell is focused on building over 10 floors in relation to additional provision. There are four in Northants.
ACTION – DD will continue to scope out the Protection Strategy
– There was a discussion about the Safer Roads Team and the possibility of giving the unlicensed and uninsured cars they seize to the fire service to practice on.
ACTION – PF will raise with Safer Roads Team
– There was a discussion about the Safe and Well programme which currently provides vulnerable people with security advice including checking the identity of callers, keeping doors locked, securing valuables and dealing with nuisance calls and scams.
– The pilot has been operating across the County via the prevention department and with crews at Rushden and Moulton.
– Evaluation of the pilot programme is expected to be completed by the end of April and will include analysis of the number of visits, age of people visited and the issues identified.
– There was a discussion about the option to commission an extension of the programme in South Northants utilising stations at Brackley & Towcester.
– In addition to helping crime prevention the checks would increase the number of available appliances via retained firefighters.
ACTION – DD agreed to scope out a 12 month extension of the Safe and Well programme to include South Northants with measurable and tangible outcomes which provide retained fire cover whilst helping reduce fear of burglary, burglary prevention and cyber-crime.