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Operational Assessment & Fire Peer Challange

Operational Assessment & Fire Peer Challenge January 2014 - Final Report
Operational Assessment & Fire Peer Challenge January 2014 - Final Report

In late January 2014, ESFRS hosted a visit by a Fire & Rescue fire peer challenge team, who were here at our invitation.

The aim of the peer review was to provide external challenge to the self-assessment produced by us against the Operational Assessment (OpA) Toolkit.

The process has a strong operational focus and is designed to allow a 'whole system' look at how a Fire & Rescue Authority (FRA) leads, prioritises and delivers the interrelated functions of prevention, protection and response.

In overall terms the report was positive particularly in relation to:
  • The excellent service being provided to the community   
  • Achievement of attendance standards is high   
  • Influential partnership working provides for quality service in many areas   
  • Partnership working is a real strength and there are notable practices

As in any organisation, there are always areas for improvement or "Areas to explore".

Many of those areas highlighted in the report were already known to ESFRS and work was underway at the time of the review and has continued since then.   

Five areas for further consideration are

Communication and engagement always a difficult area as different people need or want different things from communication - and the report acknowledged that this area was improving and further work has continued over the last few months since the Review.  

  • Operational Debrief Process - currently the Learning and Organisation Development Department is establishing a process to ensure that we "close the loop" and any lessons are shared and any appropriate action/ training is taken.

  • Staff empowerment - again much work has taken place in this area with a current Heads of Function project, which has been running for several months.     

  • Information Technology (IT) - many of you may be aware that that there are a number of plans/projects which are currently in place to improve this area and assist ESFRS to make better use of IT.

The report concluded by highlighting many areas of notable practice, particularly:

  • Hospital Discharge - referral for an HSV where the patient may be at risk (e.g. from limited mobility etc.)
  • Sprinkler Commitment - to be retro-fitted to High Rise properties etc.
  • Joint Training with West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service
  • Partnership Working - several areas were mentioned
  • Sussex Control Centre
  • Electrical Intake Risks - since adopted by CFOA
  • 'The Cube' - used to make evidence-based decisions
  • RDS Support Officer - current pilot in Rother Borough
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