East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo

Inspection report published

Date : 17 December 2019

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East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is welcoming being graded as Good in four important areas in a new report, published today (17 December 2019).

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has graded the Service as Good in responding to fires and other emergencies, in responding to national risks, at making best use of resources and at making the fire and rescue service affordable now and in the future. 

Chief Fire Officer, Dawn Whittaker said: 

“We are pleased that the report recognises our areas of achievement, and critically that our response to emergencies is good. We are constantly working hard to deliver the best results for our community and this demonstrates that we are ready to respond when you need us. 

The report is based on a snapshot of our service and we believe the key measure of our performance is what the public we serve think of us. 

We are very self-aware as a Service and already had plans in place to address some of the areas of improvement highlighted in the report. These plans have progressed well since the inspection in June and we are all determined to ensure that progress continues to be made. 

There are some aspects of behaviour in our Service that do need to change. We want to be a Service whose staff treat each other with respect and in a way that you would expect to see in any modern workplace. To that end, we will be introducing a new behavioural framework in 2020.

Everyone is proud of the service we provide to the communities of East Sussex and the city of Brighton and Hove, but we are not complacent and we are committed to continuous improvement.” 

Chairman of East Sussex Fire Authority Roy Galley said:

“We agree that Fire and Rescue services should be independently inspected and held to account, just as other vital public services are and the Fire Authority are an important part of that”.

The Service’s leadership team continues to have our backing and support as we see some of the key plans and strategies that have been developed in the last few years coming to fruition, this is important to bring about lasting change and efficiency to the public and communities we serve.” 

The full report can be found on the HMICFRS website: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/  

Read our full response.

What we’re doing well

The report recognised a number of achievements:

  • Incident Commanders are prepared and trained to deal with a range of incidents
  • We proactively communicate incident information to the public and use social media and our website to promote safety messages
  • We have realistic and robust financial plans in place
  • We actively support community events such as Brighton and Hove Pride and promote inclusivity in recruitment campaigns
  • We engage with vulnerable people and work with communities that are hard to reach 
  • We have invested in new business information and IT systems
  • We have good business continuity plans in place 


Values – an area of focus

We are working to ensure all our staff understand the expectations of their behaviour in the workplace and towards each other and that these reflect our stated core values.

  • We are proud of the Service we provide 
  • We are accountable to the public we serve
  • We act with integrity 
  • We respect our communities and colleagues 


One way we intend to do this is by focusing on a local Behavioural and Leadership Framework in 2020, based on the National Fire Chiefs Council’s Leadership Framework. This combines traditional operational and professional skills and competence with the behaviour which is expected. 

(The NFCC’s framework can be found at: https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/write/MediaUploads/NFCC%20Guidance%20publications/Workforce/NFCC_Leadership_Framework_Final.pdf)


HMICFRS: Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) independently assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of police forces and in July 2017 extended its remit to include inspections of England's fire & rescue services. 


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