Agenda item

GFRS Performance Data and Updates

To note the attached performance reports.


8.1 The CFO gave a summary of the performance data in the report. Areas of strong performance highlighted were timeliness of response to dwelling fires, and the targeting of safe and well visits to the most vulnerable. The number of safe and well visits was highlighted as an area that was below target. He also explained that the Emergency Planning team had moved to the directorship for corporate resources so this was likely the last time he would be reporting to this Committee on Community Safety Strategic Risk. He highlighted the report of insufficient business continuity management in the report.


8.2 A member asked how ‘vulnerable’ members of the public were identified for safe and well visits. It was explained that GFRS had strong referral routes through adult services. People also saw or heard about fire emergencies in the community and would be more likely to ask for a visit when GFRS officers were knocking on doors.


8.3 In response to a question about members of the public who did not have English as a first language, it was explained that certain communities could be more adverse to the visits, particularly if they had had poor experiences with authorities before. He also explained that officers did do visits in plain clothes to make the visits more friendly and interpreters were used.


8.4 A member raised concern around the risk of impersonators offering safe and well visits. The CFO explained that all staff had ID cards and would arrive in a GFRS vehicle of some kind so it should be clear that the visiting officers were GFRS employees. He also explained that the timing of the visit would have been confirmed in advance and there was a helpline number that could be called to confirm who was running the visit.


8.5 A member raised that he was not aware of a GFRS officer attending Community Safety Partnership Meetings in Stroud. The CFO said he would look into why a representative was not attending those meetings.


8.6 In response to a question about being consistently over target for accidental dwelling fires, the CFO explained that there had been an increase in the number of accidental fires caused by young men under the influence of alcohol. He also suggested that an increase in the purchase of unsafe electrical goods could be contributing to the increase in accidental dwelling fires. The CFO offered to come back to the Committee with more information on the causes of fires.


ACTION – GFRS officers to create an information report for this Committee on the causes of accidental dwelling fires in Gloucestershire.


8.7 In response to a question about difficulties with recruitment and retention, the CFO explained that there had recently been a high turnover of GFRS, predominantly caused by retirements and promotions. He explained that operational firefighter positions were always oversubscribed but it was still important to focus on recruiting the right people and having a diversity of applicants. He stressed that there were key skills that were difficult to recruit for and this was caused by competition with the private sector that offered better remuneration. The CFO was hopeful that agile work allowed for a greater candidate pool and thus more qualified applicants.

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