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Bucks Fire Service reveals improvements after being rated ‘inadequate’ for safety

Thursday, 8 February 2024 13:00

By Charlie Smith - Local Democracy Reporter

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has outlined how it is improving following a damning report by inspectors.

The service was rated ‘inadequate’ at protecting the public through fire regulation in October 2023 by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

The service said in an update this week that it had set up an improvement board, chaired by new chief fire officer Louise Harrison, which meets on a regular basis.

Bucks fire officers have also held meetings with the National Fire Chiefs Council, regional fire chiefs and other bodies.

As part of its update, the service said that it was progressing or on track with many of the improvements recommended by inspectors.

However, the service has not started work in other areas, including 12 points related to equality, diversity and inclusion, which was one of three areas of concern identified in HMICFRS’ October inspection.

The watchdog’s other concerns were that the service was “still not adequately identifying and prioritising those most at risk from fire” and that it was not doing enough to make sure its teams can “prioritise work according to risk”.

Inspector Roy Wilsher also said: “The service is overly reliant on its neighbouring fire and rescue services to provide a response to incidents in its area.

“It is struggling to have available all the resources it may need and to meet its public safety plan.”

Following the inspection, Bucks Fire Service was placed under special supervision.

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