Fire Accountability Board Minutes 8 September 2020
Stephen Mold (SM)
Nicci Marzec (NM)
Helen King (HK)
Louise Sheridan (LS)
Stuart McCartney (SMc)
Darren Dovey (DD)
Rob Porter (RP)
Nick Alexander (NA)
SM welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Apologies were accepted from Paul Fell (PF) and Shaun Hallam (SH)
SM advised the Chief Fire Officer that an Overall Assurance Statement will be formally added to all Accountability Board minutes. These statements will be collated and used in future reports to the Police, Fire and Crime Panel.
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
NFRS Performance Update
NFRS Performance Update
The Commissioner requires a report of NFRS performance against the measures and metrics contained within the Integrated Risk Management Planning (IRMP).
ACFO Rob Porter presented their Q1 performance figures which included information in relation to their work in response the COVID-19 pandemic and delivering prevention advice.
Face to face activity has been impacted due to the risk of Covid-19 transmission. For this reason, there has been an impact on the metrics for home fire safety checks (Prevention) and the risk based inspection programme (Protection).
Very high risk inspections for both Prevention and Protection have continued throughout.
The Commissioner thanked the service for continuing to undertake their high risk work and asked for an update on when this work will return to normal levels.
The Chief Fire Officer explained how NFRS had been working to ensure those at high risk were targeted and any risks from Covid-19 were minimised. This will be reviewed again at the next Service Delivery Management Board.
The IRMP Outcome Measures were reviewed to check for any significant variance.
The Commissioner noted that the reported figure for the number of fatalities in primary fires per 100,000 population was miniscule for a county of nearly 800,000 but he felt it was important to have more context for the figures for example RTCs in rural areas.
The Chief Fire Officer suggested providing a map with data plotted on it to help give further context to the performance figures.
Action – DD to add a map with any fire fatalities plotted on it when this is reviewed again.
There was a discussion about Response times; First Pump attendance is good, second Pump attendance has been a little slower during Covid but that is because more On Call Fire Fighters are available to be deployed and they take a few extra minutes to get to the station.
The Commissioner said it would be useful to know the number of incidents attended to show not just the response times but also the volume of incidents responded to. Comparisons using volume with response times would add further clarity around overall performance.
The Commissioner also asked for information on the numbers of calls received and the geography of where calls are made to be added. This will provide further context. A quarterly map if you like which plotted fires, RTCs and Special Services making it easier to identify any clusters or hot-spots.
Combined information would also better articulate any adjustments to the deployment of whole-time/ on-call crews.
The Commissioner commended the service for achieving the target set for response times which demonstrates an improved service for residents.
Action – DD to include the number of incidents as well as the response times to them for further clarity on overall performance next time.
Action – DD to include the number of calls and the location of incident attended for help identify any clusters or hot-spots next time.
There was a discussion about the Digital and IT strategy.
A new person to lead this area has been appointed and will join as soon as vetting is completed.
There was a discussion about Office 365which is a Police only product. The Commissioner agreed to write to The Police ICT Company and discuss with Paul Bullen who leads on Enabling Services.
Action SM to write to the Police ICT Company regarding the Office 365 product and discuss with Paul Bullen
There was a discussion about the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.
The Commissioner asked if there were other things that the NFRS could do in the Prevention area in addition to the joint operations carried out with the Force on unsafe parking in and around Primary Schools.
It was agreed that The Chief Fire Officer would discuss with ACFO Shaun Hallam.
Action DD to discuss road safety with SH and come up with a proposal lined up to the strategy of the Safer Roads Alliance (options and ideas)
The Commissioner commended the service for the significant improvements in pump availability and the increase in the number of firefighters achieved within the tight financial constraints facing the service.
Overall the performance figures look positive and he impressed on the Service the need to maintain the performance they had achieved. He was keen to see the twelve new recruits deployed and he would be keeping a watching brief on the figures.
The Commissioner asked the CFO to look into productivity and sick rates in relation to home working. He also thanked the Service for all of their work to support the county during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Capital Investment Programme Update
Capital Investment Programme Update
As part of the budget setting process for 2020/2021 The Commissioner agreed a capital investment plan with the Chief Fire Officer. The Commissioner requests a report outlining progress on the delivery of this agreed plan.
Nick Alexander presented the capital budget update and explained this was an abridged version of their 10 year capital plan.
Concerns were raised about the time lag between the approval of, and the purchase of new appliances.
The Chief Fire Officer explained the complexity of the specifications for some of the new appliances. The tender process for these have now been completed and awarded. The Specification for the Arial Appliance is also complete. This was a much shorter process as it is a much smaller market.
In terms of planning NFRS are now working to be able to plan 12-18 months ahead in terms of priorities and procurement to deliver better budget planning and forecasting.
Some elements of the capital plan relating to ICT have been outsourced in relation to delivery. Resources have been bought in to ensure effective and timely delivery due to resource capacity in Fire ICT department
Action – Paul Bullen as Director of Enabling Services to review the current Capital Programme and forecasting budget in order to give the Commissioner the opportunity to make an informed decision as to the timeliest way to allocated the budget available. The items within the Capital Programme are there for a reason so it makes absolute sense for people to move these forward and deliver these as quickly as they can.
The Commissioner was assured and welcomed the work being undertaken to address capabilities in the service and to improve procurement and budgeting practices.
The appointment of a new Enabling Services Director which has been created to drive forward and improve non-operational services for Police and Fire, delivering a coherent and forecastable plan which delivers improved service and efficiency saving and benefits to support both organisations.
The delivery and realisation of these benefits will be regularly reviewed by the Commissioner, the Chief Constable and the Chief Fire Officer to ensure that the strategic objectives are met.