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How Norfolk's fire service is going to improve

How Norfolk's fire service is going to improve

Published by Grace Mcgachy
2:10pm 13th August 2019.

They've been told to improve and this is what they're going to do about it. 

In June, an inspection of Norfolk Fire and Rescue identified a range of issues that needed to get better.

These included a backlog in home fire risks and complaints about bullying within the organisation.

q&a norfolk police and fire and rescue service
NFRS recently held a Q&A alongside Norfolk Police

Now the fire service has set out how it plans to address concerns raised during the first formal inspection of the way it runs.

The report judged the service as requiring improvement, leading to chief fire officer Stuart Ruff pledging to deal with the issues raised.

Two months later, an action plan to address these concerns has been agreed by bosses at Norfolk County Council, which is responsible for governing the service.

norfolk fire and rescue chief officer Stuart Ruff


Among the proposed improvements, bosses will host regular public meetings to ensure members of the public can voice any concerns they have and a new programme of vulnerability training for firefighters and other staff.

Mr Ruff said the service had “an ambitious programme of development work to drive improvement” and that “a new cultural framework” was being developed to address the points of criticism.


The improvement plan includes the following actions:


  • Criticism: The service should improve how it uses information from engagement with the local community.
  • Action: Alongside the police, the service will regularly host public meetings where people can voice their views and learn about risks.
  • Criticism: The service should work to reduce its backlog of risk assessments.
  • Action: The backlog of home fire risk checks has already been reduced by 53pc. Collaboration wish Norfolk Police is proposed, which could see officers helping to complete the checks in return for firefighters raising awareness of scams and fraud through existing visits.
  • Criticism: The service should ensure staff have a better understanding of vulnerability and safeguarding
  • Action: Refresher training sessions are to be provided to all staff by March 2020.
fire engine


Meanwhile, bosses are also in the process of creating a new plan for the way it deals with risks in the coming years, a first draft of which is scheduled for release in the autumn.

Once this is published, members of the public will be able to express their views on it, before it comes before council in February 2020.



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